|Kansas Couple Touched by Kindness|
A springtime snowfall, a misplaced footstep and a 9-1-1 call all played into an unexpected friendship between a young paramedic and a senior tourist. James and Gurtha McCrea of Ottawa, Kansas, had stopped with some friends last spring to see the Great Sand Dunes. "I was taking some pictures of the visitor center entrance and I stepped up on the curb but I didn't get my left foot up high enough," James said. Landing on his left hip resulted in seven breaks to his left femur bone and an ambulance ride.
"The ambulance service came out and got me and they did a great job picking me up and doing their job," he said. What happened next, however, went beyond anything James and his wife had ever experienced. During his surgery, the emergency crew came and sat with his wife, and then visited him as he recovered, first here, then at the San Luis Care Center.
Bringing the Sand Dunes to You
Kyle Crawford was on that crew. "I had asked him if he ever got to see the Sand Dunes and he said no, so I printed a picture and we put Alamosa EMS pictures on it and we all signed it and gave it to him," Kyle said.
This simple gesture made a big impression on the McCreas and led to a series of events that would touch them deeply. "Everyone was wonderful to us while we were here. The ambulance crew, the hospital, the mayor, the doctor," said Gurtha. "We were just treated like family. We have never experienced anything like this."
It would be another four weeks before James had healed enough for the trip home to Kansas and when that time came, they received a warm send off. "They were over here to see us off," said James. "And we've corresponded ever since."
Just Doing Their Job
Kyle came in on his day off last week to see his friends from Kansas, noting that he'd done nothing particularly remarkable a year ago, as he sees it anyway. "It's just part of the job. It is not going above and beyond," he said. "It is doing what we're supposed to do."
Maybe so, but the McCreas say they have yet to find such exceptional care anywhere else. In an email a few days after their recent visit, James wrote: "I think you and your staff are still the greatest and more caring group of any professional medical personnel that I know of. I credit you for the encouragement and caring attitude for my quick recovery. I am sure that we will keep in touch."