It was hard to believe in a timespan less than 30 minutes my five year old daughter went from our Outer Banks beach house to the emergency room at Norfolk’s Kings Daughters Children’s Hospital. The distance alone is over 60 miles. She had jumped into the pool. I knew something was wrong. There was no animation when she whispered to my wife that she had hurt her neck “it feels fuzzy, and I cannot move”. Laying on her back she could not get up. I could see she was scared. As we waited for Currituck EMS, she could not change out of her bathing suit. They arrived within a few minutes.
What comes to me mostly from remembering that day, is respect and appreciation for Outer Banks EMS. Decisions particular to our situation began immediately as they gathered details during our call. I felt an initial confidence when two ambulance crews arrived. Knowing it was a child they stopped their sirens far away from the house. She was crying as they immobilized her. She did not want to go. Then they called for the helicopter but it wasn’t available, so the ambulance immediately left for Norfolk. I wished it was not so far.
Later, I found out a Medevac helicopter had diverted. My wife who was in the ambulance explained they kept moving the spot to meet, as the ambulance traveled up highway 158, while the helicopter got closer. I left our house at the same time as the ambulances. My speed was way over the limit, but it was over an hour later when I arrived at the Norfolk hospital. Later doctor’s explained it is called the golden hour.
It could have been different. In the initial five minutes to when she got to the best help available. Who are the people that make it happen? From EMS to county commissioners, the structure I needed to be there in an instant is available every day.
Thank-you Dare & Currituck County