Feb
15

A Valentine’s Day I will Never Forget

Posted by Sara Maida under

It is not the least bit lost on me that yesterday was Valentine's Day. That this month is American Heart Month. A month to raise awareness of the nation's leading killer- heart disease. 
This week, okay the start of 2016 and the end of 2015 has been a hard season in the life of the Maidas. I won't list the hardships because in all reality we each have things we are going through, physical battles, financial battles, emotional battles, life is HARD. The comfort Shawn and I have had is that God is King. And we are promised a new season whenever that may be. In short this specific last week I have had strep. Miles had a mild fever Sunday morning, but due to my strep we decided nursery at church wasn't the best place for him. We actually were all craving some time at home, but forgot a neighbor of ours was wanting to go with us to church for the first time. Shawn and I scratched home plans. Checked temperatures and decided that we all were going to go but once kids were dismissed I would leave with Miles and come back after the service and pick everyone up. Due to me being out of commission all week that left laundry, an empty fridge, and no errands run, I decided to head to BJs during church and pick up the essentials- milk, bread, eggs....My pace around the store took longer than anticipated. I'm just coming out of the fog, so I circled the store at least 2 times, parts of it 3 times.

Oh and I did text a friend who was still in church to try to make her laugh during the service. Humor isn't something she's new to, so she handled it well, but we did have our back and forth about skipping church.

On the way home about one mile from our house I saw a car stopped smack in the middle of the intersection with people all around it. From a distance I actually thought it was police around a car. As I approached the intersection I realized it was not police. It was an area right near 64 where there are two gas stations, a fast food mart, and some other stores- Whitcomb and Cool Lane. I realized they were all staring at the man inside. I rolled down my window, as I drove slowly through the intersection and asked if the man was okay. And it felt like a million eyes looked at me with fear and said "no he's not- can you help." I pulled my van over enough so cars could get through...maybe. I actually have no idea. I'm pretty sure between my van and by the time we got the guy out of the car, we blocked the entire intersection, but I didn't care. I didn't hear a honk. I didn't hear a complaint. 

So I left the car running, Miles inside. And ran to help. People were making assumptions here and there "he had a seizure" etc. As two women and I pulled him out (which was no easy feat) I quickly asked if anyone saw him have a seizure. No. (Side note: I know that doesn't mean he still didn't have one.)

This man has no pulse.

I can't even begin (and won't) describe what he looked like. But it will FOREVER be engrained in my head.

Compressions. Compressions. Compressions.

Someone was already calling 911.

Compressions. Compressions. Compressions.

I wish I had a mouth piece (I would have done rescue breathing but he was so sweaty and some stuff was coming out of his mouth that I didn't think I could get a good seal. I asked at some point if anyone had a towel, but no one had anything to wipe him down with.)

Compressions. Compressions. Compressions.

I wish I had an AED.

Compressions. Compressions. Compressions.

I will say he looked so awful I could not look at his face. And then he started to cough.

He had a pulse.

I felt as if everyone was relying on me. It was a pretty emotionally charged group. They were wanting him to live- as we all were. It was intense. Someone was going through his car and tried to hand me his phone to call his family in the middle of compressions. I asked them to let the police or EMTs speak to family later. I think everyone was itching to do absolutely whatever they had in their power to do to save this man. So I started to pray out loud. And then I asked everyone around me to pray.

And pray we all did. So many prayers going up for this one man. Praying for his family. Praying for his future. Praying for him to see another day.

A lady was patting me so hard on the back it hurt. smile And yelling. This is what love is.

I'm not what love is. But I have a Savior who is Love.

So many things happened in these few minutes. A lady was entertaining Miles who was screaming. Another lady asked if it was okay if she moved my van. They both continued to stay with Miles in the van. 

Each time I rehash the memory different things come back. 
One thing doesn't change. His face. His body. 

The police arrived.

The EMTs arrived.

They needed to clear the intersection. They got the stretcher and loaded him into the ambulance. 

I walked over to my van. Hugged everyone around it. A cop walked over and asked me not to leave. I had wanted the man's info anyway so I told him I wouldn't be going anywhere. After some more hugs I sat in my van. Closed the door. And prayed.
The ambulance took off. 

Police were still directing traffic, talking on the man's cell phone, and moving his vehicle. 

Eventually a police officer walked up to my van. I rolled down my window.
Officer: "Ma'am. I'm sorry."
Me: "Oh he passed?"
Officer: "No they think he will make it. But I can't give you his information. He did this to himself."
Me: "What? I don't understand."
Officer: "It wasn't medical. I can't give you his information.'
Me: "What do you mean?? That man didn't have a pulse. It was medical."
Officer: "You're right. He didn't have one. You saved him. But I can't give you his information or any other information. Especially because he did this to himself."
Me: "I'm sorry I'm still not understanding you."
Officer: "I can't tell you what he did. But he brought this on. Read between the lines."
Me: "I'm not going to try to read between the lines. I don't care what he did. Is there anyway I can get any contact information for anyone?"
Officer: "No ma'mm. He did this to himself. But can I get your name and number to recognize you in some way."

After writing down what he wanted I rolled up the window. Still in disbelief and misunderstanding. I understood perhaps legally under whatever circumstance he can't pass along information. Perhaps when he called his contacts they wouldn't allow any release of information due to hurt or shame. I understood this. I'm in disbelief over the officers words and his tone of voice. 

It literally was like he was trying to erase this man's face from my memory because he brought it on himself. But he didn't. And it won't ever be erased. 

That man is a masterpiece of our great Creator. I absolutely don't care what he was doing an hour before this tragic event occurred. And I didn't want his information for me to be known. I wanted his information because he is known. Everyone around him was rallying for him. This man deserves a chance at life.

I care for this man's pain both emotionally and physically. Because we have a God who loves us. That man is loved. He may not be loved by anyone on earth. He may not ever have felt love. Real love. 
But I pray this man felt the love of everyone praying around him. Lifting Him up to the great Comforter. 

I'm still in shock.  

Go get CPR certified. You never know where God is going to use you. And value life. Yes the path of life is hard. It even sucks at times. Or for some people all of the time. But we are all masterpieces, created in His workmanship. He loves us.
 

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