Story Submission - I Will Always Stop

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I Will Always Stop

All of us have one call that always haunts us. 19 years later, I still have nightmares about this one.

It was December 5th and I was working in Ohio at the time as the plant firefighter.  On my way home from work, (I held over last minute) I stopped at Walmart and took a road I would not normally.  It was dark and the roads were wet. I came up on a teal vehicle - what was left of a Ford - with a door open, and partially hanging off the road.  Something did not sit right. I stopped, got out of the car, from the rear, the car looked fine, but as I approached, there was nothing left of the windshield, every inch of it was starred.  The front of the car was virtually gone., but no one was with the car. I looked around, didn't see anyone, couldn't figure out how no one heard this crash.

I decided to see if I could find a phone because I didn't have a cellphone back then.  I found a payphone and called 911, and the dispatcher didn't know anything about it either. I returned to the scene and someone else had stopped. When I asked them if it was their car, they yelled, "There's a kid over here!" I went over, and lying down a hill about 75 feet from the car was a kid who was breathing rapidly, shallow and honking like a goose, unconscious.  I didn't see any blood except what was dry in his mouth. The guy who stopped tried sitting him up and I politely said this was not good. I laid him down (I was only what was an EMR back then), and held C-spine. When I got to the back of his head, blood took up my entire hand. I covered him with my jackets and waited what seemed like forever to get help. He stopped breathing on me twice.  The man took off at this point and I was by myself.

A cop finally showed up and thought I was an EMT (we wore coveralls back then) and EMS shortly thereafter. They took over and bagged him. Shortly after that, a helicopter landed nearby (my first experience with med-evac). The next day I had to find the outcome and managed the kid was in an ICU and the prognosis was not good. I went to the hospital and come to find out the family was looking for me, they were told that I was a nurse.  Needless to say the kid was brain dead.

The long and short of this story, is that this is one that I will ever forget.  He did not survive but was an organ donor. He was 18 years old, and never made it home even though he was less than a mile away.  He had struck the tree so hard, that his shoe popped off.

Anonymously submitted on December 2, 2018

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