On a perfect Florida morning, I headed to Robinson Preserve for my usual 5- to 6-mile run to enjoy the birds and tranquility. Just 2 1/2 miles in, I caught my left toe on a rock and went down. Hard. I knew right away I had broken my left wrist.
I was bleeding and had to get back to my car on Manatee Avenue. As I started the walk, I knew I was going to need help. I found three women, Linda, Peggy and Laura.
They stayed with me, walked me back, called 911 and made sure I wasn’t in shock; I wasn’t. I was angry at myself. The paramedics met us at the parking lot, wrapped my wrist and checked my vitals. Those three women brought my rental car to Blake Memorial Hospital for me.
At Blake, I was fast-tracked into the ER. Every person I encountered was professional and calming. I became a reluctant celebrity as the “67-year-old woman who runs a 10K every day” (a slight exaggeration) and walked 2 1/2 miles back to her car with a compound fracture. Kent, the PA, brought in Dr. Anjan Shah, from Tampa, who explained the surgery I required and sent me to the OR.
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Post-op, I was once again treated with care, concern and humor. Four days later, I needed to return to the ER to adjust my splint/wrap. Kent, once again, came down from surgery to explain the reason for my discolored fingers and re-wrap my arm.
I decided to cut my trip short and return to Illinois for follow-up care closer to home, friends and family. But, I couldn’t leave without thanking everyone who came to my aid: Linda, Laura, Peggy, Holmes EMT’s, Blake hospital staff: Kent, Nick, Jessica, Rose, Karen, Dr. Shah, and so many more.
That day, I was truly surrounded by Guardian Angels and am so grateful. I will do my best to “pay it forward.”
Arlene R. Jarzab