Summer Night Good Samaritan

I live in Daytona Beach, just a mile or so from where Bike Week and the night life of Daytona lights up.  A few years back, I was with a group of friends walking to the spot where music and food awaited us.  We were on side streets so that we would avoid as many cars as possible.  We were ½ a block from our destination when I saw a young man fall in the street next to a car.  Then I saw the twitching begin.  Taking in the site of his two friends not even noticing his fall and the proximity of his head to the sidewalk, I only hesitated 5 seconds before I started to run towards him.  I started issuing commands to my friends as I ran.  “Call 911” “Help me help him!”.

I more than startled his friends as I rushed forward.  They turned to me as I reached him.     “Hey, he’s having a seizure, has he had one before? Does he have medication? What is his name?”   Chaos ensued. I didn’t know that I knew what to ask and what to do.   His friends were frozen and couldn’t move.  My priority was to try to not let his head sustain more damage.   He was strong.  He was stiffened, as our bodies become during grand mal seizures.  He was in danger.

“His name is Randy.  I don’t know, what happened?”

“He is having a seizure”. He was breathing but still seizing.  It had been a full two minutes at this point.  I lowered myself to the pavement.  “Jay, help me turn him on his side, directly on my leg.  We have to keep his head from hitting the ground repeatedly. My leg is softer than pavement. Dana, hand me your sweater for the other side.”

Jay asked, “Do you want my belt?”  Too sharply I replied “NO!  Just turn him on his side”.

I turned back to his friends; they had started to back away.  I know the type and I know the fear on their faces.  We had called authorities; they wanted no part.   As I spoke, I maneuvered his head to my thigh and tried to give him protection from…. Whatever. “Does he have any close friends or girlfriend near by?”  Any answer they might have given was unheard.

Time stood still for me.  As I looked down, I no longer saw Todd.  I saw my baby brother, my Chippy.  I was ready to do whatever it took to protect him and soothe him because I knew.  I knew the dangers.  If he stopped breathing, I would need to do CPR and I might not be able to bring him back.  I knew that he if he hit his head over and over on the pavement, a concussion could cause enumerable seizures in the future. And if he didn’t have all of that, I knew the wash of emotion and sheer tiredness that would overtake him after this episode.  I knew the anger and the sadness of defeat he would feel over the next day or so.  The fear of not knowing when it would happen again.    “You are ok.  You will be ok.  I’m here”, I whispered.

Randy’s seizure stopped just as it had started – suddenly.   His dazed eyes took in the sight of me.  His friends started forward as I asked him if he was ok.  “Do you have medication? We called for an ambulance….”   I didn’t even get it fully verbalized before he jumped up and said, “NOOO… No ambulance.  I’m fine.  I’m FINE.”   I knew this part too.   “Ok.  Are you sure?  I don’t think you sustained any further injuries to your head, but you should get checked out.”  More mildly, he said, “No.  I’m fine.” His friends encircled him and they began to walk to the bar around the corner.   Incidentally, the same bar and grille we were headed to.  I grabbed the arm of the female friend.  “Look watch him closely.  He won’t be himself for awhile.  He needs to sit and take it easy.  If he has another seizure, turn him on his side and try to protect his body from hitting stationary objects.  Especially his head.”   She looked shell-shocked frankly.  “Ok. Thank you.  She turned to walk away and then had second thoughts.  “ How do you know so much about…. This?”

Part two tomorrow 11/02/2022


Source: Diana Webster