Be well. Practice big medicine.

Newman | The Positive Paramedic Project #79 Ciao Bella

A nugget of Big Medicine every day.#79 Ciao Bella

We were dispatched to a road traffic crash for a pedestrian down. On the way to the call the radio crackled with an update – the victim was a seven-year-old male trapped beneath a car.

We hadn’t even made the intersection before we were flagged by people on the street. There was a woman wailing in the middle of the road. Three men were pointing under a car stopped atop the crosswalk painted on the street.

“Ohmygawd he’s under there,” The woman was sobbing. An engine, truck, and manpower squad pulled up behind us. We all made our way over to the car.

I peered into the shadows. There was a black lab trapped under the chassis. He had a broken leg and big sad eyes. He was quiet and looking right through me.

The decision to proceed with the rescue came as a simultaneous murmur of assent that rippled through the combined crews.

“We’re here. Let’s help. Otherwise she’s liable to have a heart attack,” said the fire officer motioning to the crying woman still standing in the street.

The firefighters did a masterful job with the extrication. We transferred the dog to our backboard, splinted his leg, bandaged some cuts and then loaded the board onto the stretcher and into the rig.

I called it in on the radio. “En route to CV Victoria.” CH was the abbreviation for Centre Hospitalier.

CV? The dispatcher didn’t miss a beat. “Does your patient have two legs or four?”


“10-4. A supervisor will meet you at the CV. I’ll chat with you when you get back from uh- vacation in a few days. And by the way, everyone here wants to tell you guys – good job!”

Bella the Office Hamster and treasured house pet died this week.

She was old for a hamster. She lived and loved quietly.  Bella passed peacefully in the place that she called home.

I provided gentle palliative care. Bella munched on warm oatmeal served up on a spoon.

She crawled out of her nest to curl up in the palm of my hand. I carried her around with me as I completed chores.

We paused at the window so she could have a look at the leaves and the trees. She twitched her whiskers and peered outside. And then she tucked her head into my hand and went to sleep.

Be well. Practice big medicine.


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