SMITHS STATION, Ala. (WRBL) – After being nominated Piedmont Columbus Regional’s First Friday Heroes for the month of April last Friday, an official ceremony was held for East Alabama EMS paramedics Mason Bernard and Elizabeth Stowe at 4 p.m. today.
“It makes me feel good,” Bernard said. The paramedic, who stated he started EMS work in college and fell in love with helping people, said that it was nice to be recognized for what can sometimes seem like a thankless job.
Stowe shared Bernard’s sentiments and added that this was particularly special because they were able to see how their work impacted the patient.
“A lot of the times we don’t find out what happens to our patients, so sometimes its nice to see that through to the end closure on it,” Stowe, who got involved in paramedic work to get patient care experience and found herself enjoying working in an the ambulance, told WRBL.
According to a press release from April 7, an elderly man who Bernard and Stowe treated in their ambulance ended up being one of the first patients in the country to receive Stryker Neurovascular Tetra Coil treatment for brain aneurysms.
A few weeks post-procedure, the patient was able to leave the hospital with 100 percent recovery, according to Alexis Smith who is the stroke program manager at Piedmont Columbus Regional.
Smith explained that the coil’s placement is permanent and that it works by containing an abnormal out-pouching of a vessel so that it can’t come out anymore.
Though the treatment was highly-successful, it would not have been possible if not for Bernard and Stowe’s initial response to the emergency situation, according to Piedmont Columbus Regional’s Director of Community Relations Joel Ames.
“They really helped convince him that what he was experiencing was something pretty dramatic,” Ames said. When Bernard and Stowe initially treated the patient, he was experiencing an extreme headache and immobilizing left-side weakness which prevented him from walking to the ambulance.
At this time, East Alabama EMS responds to emergency situations in the counties of Calhoun, Cherokee, Chambers, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Etowah, Randolph, Talladega and Tallapoosa.