June 29, 2014
Acadian Ambulance honored three young boys with Meritorious Service Awards for coming to the rescue of a woman trapped inside her vehicle for more than two hours in the sweltering heat.
Seventy-nine-year-old Elizabeth Harris was having mechanical troubles with her vehicle and made an appointment to have it looked at. Ironically, as she was preparing to leave, Harris’ door handles malfunctioned.
“I began banging on my car window in hopes someone would see me, said Harris. “When that did not work, I tried to break the windows, but failed.”
With the highs reaching the upper 90s, Harris’ body temperature escalated quickly. “I started to feel very sleepy,” she said. “I had a decision to make; I would either rest for a bit or continue to try and get someone’s attention. I put a call for help sign up on my dashboard and decided to close my eyes to rest.”
After going in and out of consciousness, Harris started to feel hopeless. “I began to think I was going to die in my car,” she said. “I was preparing for the worst.”
That soon changed thanks to three best friends.
Thirteen-year-old Avery Landry, twelve-year-old Wayne Galloway, and thirteen-year-old Connor Richard, were riding their bikes home from a day at the Bayou Country Club in Thibodaux, Louisiana, when they noticed Harris’ call for help sign.
“I immediately dialed 911,” said Landry. “We weren’t sure if the person in the car was OK, but we knew we had to get help as fast as we could.”
As the boys were alerting authorities and their parents, Harris pulled back her sign to see Richard guarding her vehicle.
“I knew I had been saved,” said Harris. “It was like seeing the face of an angel.”
Members of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene followed by Acadian Ambulance. Harris was removed from her vehicle and quickly transported to Thibodaux Regional Medical Center where she was treated for heat exhaustion and spent the night in ICU.
“Her body temperature was close to 105 degrees,” said Acadian Ambulance Paramedic Chad Usey. “If it weren’t for these three boys, Ms. Harris would have died in her vehicle.”
To show her gratitude, Harris has started scholarship funds for each of the boys.
“They are my guardian angels and will forever be a part of my life.”
Since 1971, Acadian has been committed to providing the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation possible. In the past decade Acadian has expanded to include a diverse suite of divisions including Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Monitoring Services, Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, National EMS Academy and Safety Management Systems.