Hamilton Co. resident reunites with paramedics who saved her life

Donna Hardiman calls two HCEMS paramedics her "heroes"

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — Last month, a Hamilton County woman suffered heart problems that nearly took her life.

Hamilton County resident Donna Hardiman says that if it weren’t for Sergeant Derrick Truitt and Paramedic Aaron Howard, she would not be here today.

With a new lease on life, she took time Wednesday night to personally thank the two men for their efforts and actions that kept her alive.

On July 10, she remembers feeling “scared to death.”

“I got out of the shower, [sat] down and felt weird — a weird I’ve never felt,” Hardiman said. “I just kind of laid back and then I couldn’t breathe at all. I couldn’t get air.”

Hamilton County EMS Medic 4 arrived on the scene in response to the family’s 911 call.

Truitt and Howard ran an EKG on Hardiman, discovering abnormal heart rhythms and quickly rushed her to a nearby hospital.

“Probably about a week before that every day she would say, ‘I’m so tired and I don’t know why,'” said Maranda Lowe, Hardiman’s daughter. “Even her color was gray.”

Howard says there was 100% occlusion in one of Hardiman’s arteries.

Thanks to their response, she received a successful surgery and is thankful for the two men that she says saved her life.

“My heart surgeon told me, this guy — he’s part of the reason I [am] here,” Hardiman said. “He said that if you have 100% blockage, it can turn out a whole different way. So, I do want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

As for the two paramedics, they believe responses made to residents like Hardiman are what makes their job worth every ounce of effort and training.

“A lot of times, we take people to the hospital — we don’t know how they end up, what happens past our care,” Truitt said. “It’s nice to know we actually can make a difference in somebody’s life.”

“There’s a reason why every EMT and every paramedic do this,” Howard said. “It really strengthens our morale and helps us to remember why we do what we do.”

In a prior statement, Hardiman described the two men as “thoughtful and caring” to her, saying they took a very stressful moment and kept her calm as they made it to the hospital.

Based on her reunion Wednesday with Truitt and Howard, it looks as if they’re going to remain her heroes for the rest of her life — one she can enjoy thanks to their actions.

Categories: Featured, Hamilton County, Local News