It was about 3:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday at Panther Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was working the baseball fields like I do every day preparing the varsity field for the next game. Josh was my partner for the noon to 4 shift and was the golf cart that we lug our tools for the field around in. Students were running the concessions stand to raise money to go to India next summer. This weekend Regan and Emily were working, and it was about their 3rd weekend running the stand. They were both bright outgoing individuals. Going into their sophomore year of high school at the age of 15, both were super excited. They had been asking all week if they could help work on the field and even drive the golf cart around but I repeatedly had told them no. We were all standing in the press box right before the 1:30 game had ended when they asked yet again if they could rake or something. It was the last game of the day and we had to get the field ready so I told them if they wanted to help to go talk to Josh. I proceeded out the door to get the Smithco to drag the infield. Josh headed to the garage to get the golf cart where it had been charging during the last game. I was on the field and attaching the drag to the back of the Smithco when I had all of a sudden heard a loud scream. Little did I know that everything I had been taught through medical classes and trained to improve through HOSA: Future Health Professionals was about to be put to the test.
I looked up from behind the Smithco and saw Regan lying on the pavement with Emily standing over her screaming for help. As people gathered around I ran over to see what was going on. As I got closer I noticed blood on Regan?s face so I sprinted her way. My t-shirt getting caught on the fence ripped as I did not hesitate to stop and undo it. Regan had fallen off the golf cart and hit her head on the pavement causing a contusion to one side of her head and a gash to the other. The force of the impact caused her to have a seizure. As she was seizing I found myself surrounded by people with a nurse, nurse practitioner and a firefighter around me as well. We rolled Regan to her left side once it seemed she had stopped seizing about 2 minutes later. We let the excess saliva run out of her mouth while assessing her injuries. I removed my shirt to apply pressure above her right eye where the gash had been located. Emily called 911 while looking on worried about her best friend. We rolled Regan back onto her back and put a cold towel under her head for cushion. Keeping her head stable I checked her pulse and respirations while the NP to the left of me checked her eyes for responsiveness. Regan came to about the same time the police officers had shown up. She freaked out a little by all the people and the blood she felt all over her face, so I and an officer attempted to get everyone back with the officer doing most of the work while I tried keeping Regan from moving or touching her face. The EMS arrived there shortly after and went to work. I stayed beside Regan and did my best to keep her talking and calm while Emily?s mom explained what happened to the EMTs and called Regan?s parents to make them aware of the situation. One of the EMTs put a gauze over her right eye and an Ice pack over the contusion which had become noticeable on her left-center forehead. He asked for me to hold them there while he kept working. They decided to use a back board to lift her onto the stretcher to put her into the ambulance. For safety precautions a neck brace was put on Regan in case any spinal injuries occurred from the fall. Needing help to move, they asked me to help once more as I was the only bystander with hands on at this point. We rolled her to her side and then back onto her back on the backboard. Once we had her strapped on and secure, we lifted on three and put her on the stretcher. Once more we rolled her to her side after undoing the straps to remove the backboard. I stayed with Regan until we got her into the ambulance. I then walked Emily back to the press box and had her sit down. Not having any other shirt I put mine back on. The blood wet and cold didn?t bother me though as it was on my hands and arms and all over my shirt that I now had on. It didn?t bother me because I knew that I didn?t matter in this situation, Regan did. I walked back the ambulance to check on her and had merely said anything where I heard Regan ask, ?Is that Matt?? I replied with a simple yes and this girl who had just gone through so much just waved and said ?hey Matt.? The ambulance then drove off taking her to the hospital for further evaluation.
Regan is doing just fine now after a long tedious night at the hospital. She came out with a couple scrapes and bruises and a mild concussion. She is still the same outgoing bright individual as before.
I never expected something so simple to lead to something that seemed so extreme. It was pure instinct to react and do the things I did in such a calm manor. It is the repetitive act of doing these skills and testing myself within an organization that helps build the future of health care that made it possible for me to do so. I received praise from the bystanders and the EMTs and officers for what I had done that day but it didn?t really mean anything because to me I was just doing what I am meant to do, help others. I checked up on her through the night via Emily as Regan wasn?t allowed to use her phone or anything like that. She seemed to be doing fine and just got better as time went on. It wasn?t until the next day when I arrived back at the baseball field for work the next morning and found Emily waiting with Regan?s mom that it finally hit me. She thanked me for what I did and it was in that moment that I realized that I had done exactly what I was trying to do, I helped someone. Not just one person, but many. My actions affected her family in a graceful way. That feeling is the reason I help, the reason we, health care workers, save lives. We, the bystanders helping, and the health professionals at work came together for one sole purpose, to save this girl. Our teamwork is what helped us prevail in doing so.
If I?ve learned anything from my experiences thus far, it?s that what we do as future health professionals isn?t about the praise, but the selflessness to ensure great health to everyone.