The Paramedic and his Ghosts
In 1991 I was living in the Cayman Islands studying to become a Dive Master. Part of my training included how to safely rescue a diver from the water and how to perform CPR and first aid if needed; it was my first introduction to being a medical responder. While driving home after a day of diving I witnessed a man cross the road and get hit by a large dump truck. I pulled my car over and rushed to his aid. He was gurgling blood and was literally bent in half. The bottom of this foot was right next to his face. Since I just finished my rescue diver portion of my training I thought I would be able to help…but I had no idea what to do. It was at that moment I decided I wanted to become a paramedic. I waited until the medics arrived and watched them unfold this poor man and take him to the hospital. I never found out if he survived.
When I first became a paramedic I felt I could save everyone. With all the training I received I felt death would never get past me. I’ve learned over time that sometimes all the tools and tricks I have are not enough to save my patient, some times it’s just their time to pass on. When I see TV doctors and medics screaming at their patients to stay with them I just can’t relate, does anyone do that in real life?
When it’s someone’s time to go and I’ve used every trick in my bag my last treatment is to just be with them while they die. Not all my ghosts are demons, sometimes it’s just their time and I’ve learned no matter what I do the result will be the same. This image shows a paramedic with his non-tormented ghosts, the ones that would have died no matter what his actions were that day.
Stay safe everyone and watch out for each other.
From Emergency Response Portraits