OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – East Alabama EMS first responders Mason Bernard and Elizabeth Stowe have been named the organization’s First Friday Heroes for the month of April following their response to a call which became a local success story.

“Their line of work is often a thankless job, and we want to make the community aware of our local heroes and all they do to make the Chattahoochee Valley a better and safer place,” Piedmont Columbus Regional CEO Scott Hill said in a press release April 7. Piedmont Columbus Regional launched the First Friday Hero program in 2016 and continue to use it monthly to acknowledge the work of first responders who excel in their roles. 

Bernard and Stowe transported an elderly man to Piedmont Columbus Regional Midtown’s Emergency Trauma Center after the patient reported a severe headache and left-side weakness post-seizure which prevented him from walking to the ambulance.

While the patient’s weakness dissipated during transportation, testing at the hospital revealed a significant brain hemorrhage and brain aneurysms. As a result, the patient became one of the first in the country to be treated with Stryker Neurovascular Tetra Coil, which is a new FDA-approved drug meant to treat small, difficult-to-treat aneurysms. After his procedure, the man was released from the hospital a few weeks later with all symptoms fully resolved.

According to Piedmont’s Atlanta Stroke Center Medical Director Michael Stiefel, M.D., PhD., Piedmont is the first health system in the U.S. to use this new treatment method.

At this time, a date has not been set for a ceremony to celebrate Bernard and Stowe alongside hospital leadership.