Helpless. Scared. Inspired.

These were not feelings Heather Johnston of Waterford was expecting to feel on a Tuesday morning as she got her daughters ready for school.  But the morning of September 24th turned out to be anything but typical for the Johnston family.  Heather has worked at EmergyCare for 12 years in our patient accounting department.  During this time she has reviewed tens of thousands of patient charts that detail the response time, personnel involved, vital signs observed and care given.  But it never became real until the morning of the 24th when her 8 year old daughter, Lacey, suddenly passed out as Heather braided her hair.

Heather is no stranger to being the mom of a sick kid.  Lacey has Down syndrome, suffers from chronic pneumonia and had heart surgery at 4 months old.  But Johnston noted, “Having an emergency at home was totally different.  One minute it’s business as usual getting ready for school and the next Lacey’s eyes roll back in her head and she’s on the floor.  I’ve never felt so helpless.” 

Harry Latta, EmergyCare Operations Supervisor, was the first to respond to the 9-1-1 dispatch.  Several volunteer EMTs from Stancliff Volunteer Fire Department also responded and one of EmergyCare’s advanced life support crews arrived as well. EmergyCare Paramedic Jill Anderson took care of Lacey during the drive to St. Vincent Hospital.  Johnston relays the aha moment she had watching Jill take care of Lacey. “As an EmergyCare employee, I know what our caregivers do. I read their patient care reports on a daily basis.  But watching Jill provide care in the back of the ambulance made it all real to me.” 

For Heather, September 24 was the day she went from a panicked mom to a mom reassured that her daughter was getting the care she needed.  “After all these years working for EmergyCare, I finally get it.  I understand the impact of our mission.  It was awe-inspiring to have all those competent and caring people show up to help my little girl when I couldn’t help her.  That day it came full circle for me and it resonates now that if people in the community don’t provide support through memberships and donations, this doesn’t happen.  Little girls like Lacey don’t get the care they need.”

As a result of her experiences that day, Heather has been sharing with others the impact of our mission and has new insight into the emotion and drama behind the patient care reports she reviews.  She has also increased her personal giving to EmergyCare to support our ability to answer every call with the people, medical equipment and supplies needed to make a difference.

Each year EmergyCare relies on donations from caring individuals who invest in our life-saving mission. Philanthropic support is critical to help us mainitain the highest level of care, keep our equipment and technology up-to-date and provide community outreach and education services. You can be part of our lifesaving mission by making a gift today.

Make an online donation by clicking the Donate Today button below.

If you prefer to mail a check, you can print and mail a Donation Form.

 

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