Throughout Acadian’s 48 years in business, our EMTs and paramedics have selflessly comforted thousands of patients and saved countless lives. Many of those patients have never forgotten the moments they spent in our care.

In May 1982, Acadiana High seniors were celebrating the end of their school year when Denise Truelove’s friend pulled up on a motorcycle. “I had never ridden on a motorcycle, and it seemed fun. We had no gear on, no helmets—we just weren’t thinking,” she recalled.

Denise was on the back of the motorcycle for only a moment when a car pulled out in front of them. Her friend swerved to miss the car, and Denise went flying across an open field, landing about 100 feet away. During the impact, Denise’s right leg slammed into the front of the car, causing a compound fracture of her tibia and patella.

“This was before cell phones, and we were in the middle of nowhere. I’m not even sure who called or where they found a phone, but it took Acadian almost an hour to find us,” Denise said.

When the medics arrived, they stabilized Denise, wrapped her leg and assured her she was going to be OK. “They were so gentle. They were a calming presence in a moment of terror,” she remembered.

For two weeks following her accident, Denise was completely unconscious. She was later told it was a miracle she survived. Denise needed 22 units of blood during the six weeks she spent in a hospital and has since undergone 22 surgeries because of her injuries.

Denise Truelove Bishop and her family

Before her accident, Denise planned to study accounting, but her experience changed her outlook on life in so many ways. For almost 30 years, Denise worked as an RN in orthopedic surgery. Today, Denise teaches health science in the Houston area and shares her love of medicine with her high school students. Her best friend from the ambulance ride is now her husband of 30 years, and they are the proud parents of two children.

Denise said that, while her experience was traumatizing and terrible, it made her a better person.“My life would not be what it is today without that accident,” Denise thankfully said. “Acadian started my IV, gave me fluids and kept me alive. They really saved my life.”

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