Dignity

Jill, from Badger Transfer Solutions, LLC contacted me through LinkedIn, not to sell anything, rather to simply touch base and say hello, and let me know about her company. I did a little look-see, found the products to be of value and figured I'd help spread her message, and hopefully get a sale of two for them. Here's a post from the way back machine where we certainly could have used one of their units!

From the book Responding:, Emergency Publishing, 2011

I didn't know how else to ask so I just said it.

"How much does she weigh?"

"Your stretcher won't break, they did it before," said her daughter. My stretcher is rated for five-hundred pounds. My patient topped that, I'm sure.

"I don't want to hurt her if the stretcher collapses," I said. My patient remained motionless on the king size bed, filling most of the mattress space. She was wheezing with rapid respirations. A crew of ten firefighters had assembled around the bed, a crowd had gathered outside, waiting to see the show. We had to get her to the hospital. I stacked three hospital sheets, rolled them and put them next to the patient. Her daughter climbed onto the bed and rolled her mom onto her side. The smell nearly knocked me over when the flesh was exposed, maybe for the first time in weeks. Her head and skeletal system moved to the side, the flesh stayed put for the most part. I helped stuff the gathered sheets under her until most of her girth was on top. We had to get her through the bedroom door into a hallway, through the outside doorway, down six cement steps, through a crowd, onto the stretcher and into the rescue. Three firefighters got on each side of her, one at the head and one at the feet.

"On three," I said and we were moving. Once we got going it was hard to stop. At the bottom of the steps the stretcher waited. People gawked. The stretcher groaned but handled the weight.

"Nothing to see here!" said the daughter angrily to the crowd who stood their ground as we worked. We got her into the truck and closed the doors. The crowd dispersed, the spectacle over for now. Renato and John Hannon stayed in back with me as we made our way to Rhode Island Hospital, steadying the stretcher because we couldn't lock it into place; it wouldn't fit. I called the hospital to get a large bed ready.

"I've got a sixty-year old female, approx. 500 pounds enroute, we'll need a hospital bed, ETA three minutes," I said over the phone.

My patient turned her head and said, "I'm seventy-one," her pleasure that I thought she was ten years younger evident on her smiling face.

We could have used a Badger!

 

5 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    love your blogs, keep em comin’wayne says he loves your spirit!you are a great writer.w & c

  • Anonymous says:

    This story goes to the theme of your blogs, every human has dignity, albeit not always obvious. You root it out and see into people’s inner self. Keep up the excellent work.Brian A.

  • Anonymous says:

    Don’t we all just want to be seen?

  • Mr618 says:

    We use a similar product on our squad, called the Mega Mover (http://www.simplerlife.com/megamover.html). I can tell you from experience, it has saved us more times than I can count. We have a lot of old farmhouses here in Maine, so you know the drill: 350-500 pound patient, top of steep, narrow stairs, in narrow hall, in a power outage, with an overly-protective Rottweiler, no way a cot or stair chair will work.
    I'm NOT saying ours is better or worse than Badger's, but every service — EVERY service — oughta have a few in every rig. They're worth the patient's weight in gold.

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