Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More Than Coincidence

Story by Lorita O'Leary & Wilda Lahmann

Randy with three of his children - Jon, Alissa & Crystalee

My husband, Randy, shook me awake, It must have been 2:00 A.M. He was hunched over, holding a hand to his chest. “Wilda, I need to get to the hospital,” he said, gasping. “Can’t breathe.”

“I’ll call 911,” I said, jumping out of bed.

“No time,” he gasped again. “Drive me. Now.”

I helped him up and got him in our van. Randy slumped against the passenger-side door. Fifteen miles to the hospital. Too far, I thought. We’re not going to make it. Send help, Lord.

We tore out of the driveway, engine roaring in the still night air. Could Randy hold on? About a mile down the road, at the bottom of a hill, I saw something in the street. We’re my eyes playing tricks on me? No, it was real. An ambulance!

“Look, Randy!” I shouted. A paramedic stood outside the vehicle. Like he was waiting for us. How did he know?

I slammed on the brakes, leaped out of the van and ran over to the ambulance, screaming for help. The paramedic and his partner went right to work. “Possible cardiac,” one said. They strapped an oxygen mask onto Randy and started treatment. Then they loaded him onto a stretcher and into the ambulance, unconscious. “Follow us,” one of them told me.

The next three days were touch-and-go. I never left Randy’s bedside, praying he’d wake up and be okay. Finally, he did. “What happened?” he asked.

“You mean you don’t remember?”

“Nothing after the ambulance,” he said.

“You had a massive heart attack. The EMTs said another minute or two and...” I squeezed his hand tight.

“You called them?” Randy asked.

“No,” I told him. “They received a report of a car crash at that intersection. They even called in to make sure that they were at the right location. They were. And then we came along seconds later.”

Fifteen miles on empty roads in the middle of the night. Randy’s heart attack would have been fatal if those paramedics hadn’t been there. I’d say they were in the perfect location.

Wilda & Randy

This story was published in Guidepost Aug 2005 issue

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