Posted by: medicblog999 | June 1, 2010

Guest Post – They All Live On….

One of the best things about being part of the Fire&EMS Blog network, is that at least once a week, one of my blogs posts lands on the Facebook page of JEMS (which if you are not yet a fan of – you should be!). This has a two fold affect. Firstly, the hits on my blog go through the roof for a couple of days, and secondly, and most importantly for me, people who wouldnt normally comment on my blog leave comments on the JEMS facebook page instead.

It was whilst I was reading some of the comments left by the JEMS readers on my post ‘Getting too attached?’, I decided to chip in myself and ask if anyone wanted to share their stories, I would be happy to do that for them.

Since then, I have read some truly heart wrenching stories from some amazing professionals around the world. Most of them didn’t want their tales posting, they just wanted the opportunity to tell a stranger,who understands,  what they went through and how it affected them.

I feel privileged to have shared so many experiences..

One person who contacted me was ‘North Dakota EMT’, who said she would like to share her story with all of you. I hope that she finds the experience of sharing her story with all of you as therapeutic as I do. Thank you for sharing, I feel honoured to have heard your story.

So……I will now turn my blog over to her :

(obviously, names and identifying information have been changed)

They all live on…In one way or another…

As the ambulance pulls up on scene my gut drops to the bottom of my stomach. It’s not going to be a “good” call and it’s already started out wrong. People are standing around the front door, some are crying hysterically, others are just standing there with glazed looks on their faces. Picnic tables are covered in an assortment of food and children are playing quietly but watchfully around the eges of the campsite.

The frantic mother runs out from the crowd of people carrying her baby in her arms with tears streaming down her face and big black gobs of eye makeup smudging under her eyes. (It’s funny the things we notice in a moment of stress isn’t it?) She hysterically tells me that the baby was fine this morning when she laid him down for his nap and she’s babbling a bunch of stuff I don’t really hear.

I look down into the blanket she has wrapped around the baby, it’s one of those soft fuzzy blankets that everyone loves to run their hands across and feel the smoothness of, and I see the beautiful face of an infant. Such a beautiful little baby I think to myself. Then I focus on his eyes and see the blank, gazed stare and the blue around his lips and my heart does a flip in my chest. She hands me the baby and turns around and collapses into the arms of someone who looks like they might be her mother. She’s turned her back on the pain, trying to find some kind of escape from all that she knows will come next and my heart aches for her.

We run to the rig with the baby, get out the pediatric kit and do all the right things. The next couple of hours go by in a blur as we get to the hospital and assist in the attempts to resuscitate the beautiful little boy who will never hear his mommy say I love you again, never go to school on that first day and feel the fear in his heart of beginning a new stage in life.

And then we stand there and talk quietly with the doctor and nurses who just minutes ago we were standing side by side with, desperately trying to bring back a little heart that had quit beating. We console each other with talk of other things. Each of us mourn the life of the little boy that was lost in our own private way, trying hard not to let on how deeply it affects us. The nurses and doctor go back to their patients and my partner and I restock the ambulance and head back to the bay.

The rest of the day has a quietness to it. There is no silly banter and no goofy jokes. We deal with what has happened in our own little ways. My partner calls his wife and asks to speak to his children. I call my babysitter and ask how my sons day at daycare went and ask her to give him a hug for me but I don’t talk to him because I know I’ll break down and cry. We take the rest of the calls that come in and maybe get a little angry sometimes when we attend to someone who really doesn’t need us, and work a little harder on the ones who do, but we try not to show it.

The next morning when we get off our shift, my partner and I say the usual good-bye to each other and we each walk away with a little piece of Tobias James in our heart…………

Ten years later, and lil Tobias is still a piece of my heart and although others have joined him there, I think he still holds the biggest piece and always will…….



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly Wilcoxson, Medic999. Medic999 said: New blog post: Guest Post – They All Live On…. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: