I love Iredell county. I do. I could live anywhere in the world…and those who know me know I would be very happy living many places or just traipsing around as a vagabond…but Iredell County is where I choose to call home.
Yes, part if the reason has to do with my family….I enjoy them and whether I am around them a lot or a little, if I needed them I could get the whole gang of them on my doorstep in 15 minutes flat. (Well, unless it is to put up the awesome light fixture I bought for my home office. It’s been sitting here over a year and counting. But one day….)
Anyway, wanted to tell a story about why I love it here. My friend Debbie’s 30-year old son had a heart attack Saturday. He was at O’Charlie’s in Mooresville, having lunch with his pregnant wife (their first child is due in a couple of weeks). Had a seizure, and his heart stopped. A paramedic was sitting at the next table. She sprang into action, performed CPR. Some people from Mooresville Fire Department were at Target doing a fundraiser, so got to the scene immediately. They used a defibrillator to start his heart. Two ambulances showed up…more paramedics. Michael couldn’t have gotten better treatment faster. He was transferred to Charlotte and put in cardiac intensive care.
Sunday afternoon I was trying to figure out something I could do for Debbie. I knew she would want to thank that paramedic. They didn’t know who she was, so Debbie said I could help find her. Yea, something to do!
I called one of the non-emergency supervisor numbers I found online and couldn’t get hold of anyone. I figured they are leanly staffed and have lots going on, so instead of leaving a message, I resorted to email. Yes….I am more if an emailer than a phone caller anyway. I emailed the head of EMS, Blair Richey. I know….probably not who you should start with on such a quest, especially on a Sunday afternoon, but you know me. Why not? Her name was first. I got an out of office message from her. I didn’t read it all the way then, or would have seen an extra number I could have called for a supervisor. But no….instead I email every supervisor on the south end of the county. (I think there were six?) I copied Blair Richey so she would know and not feel the need to get back to me when she got back to work. This was at 11:32.
By 12:16 I had heard from the battalion chief on that shift, Jason Little. He said he would make contact with her and arrange a time for them to meet. Remember this was the next day…..I think that probably meant he was not on duty. By 12:40 I heard from Blair Richey, remember….the head of Iredell EMS that was out of office….just touching base and saying she saw Jason had responded, telling me she appreciated my outreach (she appreciated me?), and if they could do anything else to let them know.
Today Michael’s doctor had questions about their resuscitation and Debbie asked if I could see if I could get the information. I emailed Blair and Jason (I can call them by their first names now we’re old email friends, right?) at 11:35. Blair Richey emailed me back at 11:52 and told me to have Debbie call her on her cell.
Jason Little, still off duty, emailed at 2:56 with a bit more info about the day and how much response there actually was. At the end of his email he said “We need no token of thanks for our work, but we would love to facilitate a get together with your family once Michael comes home from the hospital. You have been in our thoughts and prayers since the call and hope for a continued speedy recovery. We look forward to hearing from you.”
I still don’t know the name of the wonderful paramedic who sprang into action to save Michael, but I know they will get to meet her and thank her, and the others involved, in person. I get to use the word providence again here…you know I love it….it was providence that she was there, and I believe everything in her life up to that time was at work so she would be at that place, with the skills to save Michael. It was providence that had the firemen at Target doing a fundraiser and could get there so fast. It’s pretty clear Michael was meant to live.
You know what I also love here? The hearts of the rest of the folks. People who don’t care that I’m bugging them during their time off. People who care enough to respond quickly to an email, and do it graciously and kindly, and not waiting until they return to duty. People who pray for those they help, think about them, want to know what happens, and for whom the best thanks would be getting to see them recovered.
These are my people….the employees of my county. Paying taxes is not so bad when you know it is supporting them. I love Iredell County….because there are stories like this that happen every day. It’s not just a dot on a map….but a place where folks like this live and work and look for opportunities to do good things. Yep…..you may be able to come up with some negative stories of the folks that live here…I could myself….but I know for every bad one we can come up with, I could tell you ten stories that will warm your heart. In a world where we often see the bad, I know there are a lot of good people. And go ahead and disagree with me if you want, but I’m going to be right here. Good hearts are going to win.
(Oh….and Michael…he is doing great. Getting poked and prodded and tested and fixed up and soon will be on the road to recovery. By Christmas he will be bouncing that baby boy on his knee. God worked through a lot of people and his will matched ours this time. That beautiful story will continue!)
And another update….Ashley Buie is the name of the paramedic that was sitting next to Michael and Megan and started CPR. We have a lot of heroes in this story, but she is a star. If you know Ashley, give her lots of hugs from all of us. And if you would like to buy her lunch….well, hers was interrupted so she could save a life….
And one more update….Michael has now held his son (also named Michael) thanks to everyone involved. He was born December 18. Another reminder of the goodness of God.