Mother’s Day 2 years ago I got a phone call from an unknown number on my cell. I don’t answer numbers that I don’t know so I ignored the call. Besides the fact that I was already in a run. But the same number called again and something told me that I needed to answer the call. When I did a strange voice was on the other end and they called me by name (Jane).
They said “this is June, Jack’s ex wife, are you busy?” I said “kinda is this an emergency?” June said well yes I think so. Of course I then asked what was wrong. She said that the kids were not able to wake Jack up so that he could take them to church. I told her I would drop my patient off at the hospital and I will go to him house.
Jack and I were partners for a long time and had dated after we were partners. And had always remained friends. While at the hospital June called me back and said that she was Jack’s house and he was breathing but he was blue. I advised her that I was in my way and that she needed to raise his head to open his airway. And breath for him if need be.
Myself and another paramedic were at his house within minutes. When we walked in he was blue and I fully expected to not find a pulse. Jack had had a string of bad runs and had been self medicating and I was concerned that he had overdosed. Narcan did not help nor did romazicon. He was completely comatose and we had to breath for him. He had a strong pulse but no other signs of life.
He was air lifted from the hospital and it was later found that he had suffered from broken heart syndrome and multiple strokes in the watershed area of his brain. We still have no idea why any of this happened. That was one of the hardest run I have been on in awhile not only because we were friends but because he was one of our own.
He was having issues with PTSD and refused to get help thought that it was a sign of weakness. That thought process cost him his career and almost cost him life. Had his children not been with him that weekend it would have. Please do not self medicate because it could cost you more than you realize.
– Story written by an anonymous first responder.