It is not every day that you meet true heroes. And I am blessed to know a fair number. Let me tell you about 2 London, Ontario everyday Heroes. My dear dear friend, David Mills, is an amazing man and paramedic. David has helped me any number of times with situations concerning patients, when I needed contacts. He is a champion of the people, a kind, incredibly compassionate and ardent fighter for the rights of his fellow Paramedics and the patients he sees. Recently, I was in a pickle. A wonderful patient was in dire straits. She was very ill, went to ER, was kept sitting in the waiting room for 5.5 hours, and finally, needing to lie down, she said to the triage nurse she was too ill to stay. Can you imagine? I can’t. She was in one of our London hospital emergency rooms, sick, dehydrated, and had to go home rather than wait. She spoke to me and I called David. Then, David put me in touch with another of our unsung London heroes, Dustin Carter. Dustin Carter is the Superintendent of London Community Paramedicine. Dustin is a wonderful, incredibly resourceful and amazing man who has helped me twice with patients. He listened to the story, asked what I needed, which was to have IV rehydration done quickly in the patient’s home, while I pushed for her to have the surgery she was waiting on. Dustin and his incredible team of Paramedics expeditiously went to the patient’s home, put in the IV, monitored her, saw her again that night, and the next morning, hung another bag, did bloodwork, all with complete documentation. Not only was the patient taken care of, but no surgeon worth their salt would operate on a dehydrated patient. My patient has since had her surgery. All in all, a complete success thanks to the Double D’s (David and Dustin) and Dustin’s team. Again, yesterday, another pickle. A lovely patient, who had cancer surgery, was told to have me give her 2 injections, one day apart, prior to a medical procedure. Sadly, the pharmacy did not provide sterile water for injection. I called several pharmacies, and no one had sterile water, even though on the box of the injections, it clearly indicates sterile water is required to reconstitute the powder. So, as a last resort, I called Dustin. Not only did he have sterile water, but he had no other available staff to get it to me, as the patient was with me in the office, but he drove it to me himself. That is how we physically met, although we had spoken on the phone. I want to honour our unsung, London Every Day Heroes like David and Dustin and their teams. Paramedics are experts in so many aspects of medical care. It is a travesty that I did not know about this valuable resource before, but I do now. They have the latitude to provide so many facets of care to our fellow Londoners, and everyone should know about them.
Dr Annette Richard.