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In The Right Place At The Right Time


July 14 is a special day to me for a few reasons.  The most important is that it's my father's birthday.  My father has been deceased for many years now, but I know that he is with me always.  Since his passing, I have noticed that odd things happen on or around his birthday and on or around my birthday.  I have always felt that this was his way of letting me know that he is with me.


My Friday nights are usually the same.  I drive my daughter where she wants to go and then return home to get on my computer, read, write poetry, or watch TV.  For some reason, I changed my Friday night routine, and now I see why.  Last night, I saved a teen's life.  His name is Joe, and he is 14 years old.


I don't like to eat out alone so I would normally use the drive-thru to order something quick rather than go inside.  Well, the line of cars was too long at my local McDonalds so I decided to park my car and go inside to eat.  Normally, I would just drive off and either go somewhere else or go back home and cook something.  I had been standing in a long line and considered leaving because the line was moving too slow.  It's hard for me to walk away from French fries so I continued to stand in line.  There were many people in line behind me.  I was now at the register about to order when I felt someone touch me on my shoulder.  I turned around, and a guy told me that he could not breathe.  He was crying, and I began trying to calm him down.  I did not have a cell phone so I asked someone to dial 911.  I was shocked when no one reacted.  I had to yell a few times before anyone responded.  I think everyone was surprised and caught off guard.


He told me that his name was Joe.  He was very nervous and gasping for air.  I continued to calm him and care for him until the paramedics arrived. Joe asked me several times not to leave him; as if I would :-)  This particular McDonalds is near the movie theater and the mall.  Many teenagers hang out there without their parents.  At this time, I did not know that he was a teenager.  He was very tall, well dressed, and mature looking.


A male and female paramedic arrived and began helping Joe.  I remained at his side.  They asked him many questions.  It was at that time that I realized he was only 14 years old.  He provided the female paramedic with his mother's name and telephone number.  She called his mother, and I listened closely.  After she hung up, I inquired about what his mother had said.  The paramedic informed me that his mother stated, "Joe suffers from anxiety and panic attacks."  However, last night, he had smoked weed, and he took a drug/pill that he didn't know what it was.  These things combined caused him to not be able to breathe properly. The paramedics gave him oxygen.


His mother had also told the paramedic that she would leave work and meet Joe at the hospital.  The paramedics thanked me and assured me that he would be alright.  My eyes were filled with tears now.  Joe was still receiving oxygen so he could not speak to me, but he never took his eyes off of me.  I pushed his tennis shoes, and told him not to ever do drugs again.  He was looking at me intensely.  I smiled at him and thanked the paramedics, and they drove off headed to the hospital.


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