Skip Warm from the ARC asked me to check on several patients they'd identified the day before during an ERV route.
Armed with a partially working GPS unit and a list of addresses, we set out to find these people who needed our care. Very quickly we discovered that the state police was doing a better job with road blocks however. After being redirected several times, I finally reached the end of patience and called a young policeman over to my car. I explained the situation to him, and he began to give me yet another set of instructions. Finally, he just stopped talking, looked at me, and said, "You know what, just follow me. I'll give you an escort."
Following behind this young man, EVERY single road block was opened to us. Gates were moved out of the way, and we were waved through with smiles. Law enforcement was happy to see that we were there to help, and with the proper credentials, they were happy to LET US help.
When we arrived at Miss Cora's house, I was stunned to find a 97 year old woman inside. I was expecting 60'ish elderly, not nearly 100! She invited us in, and I began taking survey of the surroundings. Miss Cora was telling us about how the "kids" in the neighborhood had helped her clear off her porch already, which explained why her home was so clean already. While giving her a simple physical, she told us about her experience on April 27th. This woman rode out the tornado that whipped through her neighborhood on the arm of her couch, behind the front door because she couldn't get closed again once it blew open. She sat there, quoting the books of Psalm, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will NOT fear!" She told us this with special emphasis, and immediately began to credit the Lord God with saving her. She told us when it was over, she could hear her "babies" calling to her, "Miss Cora! Miss Cora! Are you ok!" She said she could see through the trees and damage the college children whom she loved running toward her home, toward her, and she knew she'd be ok. She said they dug her out of the debris with their bare hands.
These "kids" call this woman Granny. She cooks spaghetti for them once a week, and counsels them, loves on them, and ministers to them as only a Granny can.
We came back the following day to check on Miss Cora again and I was pleased to find her blood pressure was down significantly. She seemed to be doing well, except her hands were so cold. I chalked this up to her being 97 and having undergone a severe trauma. All her other vitals were grossly normal, and we left with the promise to visit again the following day.
On Friday, our day got off to a rough start, and I missed the lunch run. At dinner time however, a new addition to our team went on the run with the Cincy-ERV crew and called me shortly after getting out in the field. She was giving me the stats on an elderly patient, and I realized she was talking about Miss Cora. I was on the other side of the city, consulting with a loving and willing helper about my favorite patient. I was nervous b/c our new team member didn't have the experience we had, but I shouldn't have worried a bit. Once I told her to get EMS out there, she not only set that ball rolling, but she ran the show! When they arrived, they seemed reluctant to take Miss Cora to the hospital, but Becki wouldn't have it. She set those paramedics in their place, told them to hold onto their butts, and managed to get Miss Cora into the ambulance and the paramedics doing what they needed to be doing. As it turned out, Miss Cora had serious internal bleeding, and another night without care would have resulted in her death.
It just goes to show that "experience" isn't always necessary when you pay attention to that spirit man inside of you. While Becki had some medical training, it wasn't the caliber of mine or Carrie's. But she was there, she knew what she knew even if she didn't know WHY. She reached out for guidance, received it, and RAN WITH IT. And ultimately saved a precious woman's life.
So to Becki, a gift from me and Carrie. You earned it when you stepped into boots that weren't yours to fill, but needed filling. You've skipped boot camp and gone straight to the war zone my dear, and by God, you've earned your stripes. Both of us will serve in any trench, ANYWHERE with you.