A Life Regained: EMS Services Made a Difference in Noah Weaver’s Journey
Living your best life. It’s what we all want. For 27-year-old Noah Weaver, that opportunity was given to him the past year due to the quick actions of the Bates County Memorial Hospital EMS Ambulance Service.
Last May, Noah’s car flipped while he was traveling North on 71 Highway on his way from Stockton, Mo. to the Kansas City area. He was luckily helped by a tow truck driver who saw the accident and called 911. After being stabilized at the scene, Noah was flown via LifeFlight helicopter directly from the highway to Research Medical Center; he was later transferred to Madonna, a national rehabilitation facility in Nebraska for physical and occupational therapy, as well as speech therapy.
As he will be reaching a year milestone this spring, Noah takes a look at his journey after his scary, life-changing event. Noah is so thankful for that initial on-the-field care provided to him by Ambulance Services provided by Bates County Memorial Hospital. The hospital’s ambulance department provides 24-hour, seven day-a-week Advanced Life Support Paramedic services utilizing four ambulances to cover a 900 square-mile area with 18,000 residents. Paramedics are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Trauma Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.
BCMH’s Dru Jordan, paramedic, was one of five EMS members who took the call that day. He recalls, “I remember pulling up on scene and his car was on its roof, and I remember walking up to it and looking down at him, and looking at my partner and saying, ‘We need to intubate right now.’ He definitely appeared to have a head injury and was unable to maintain his airway.”
He added, “It was one of those moments in your career when you look at somebody and go, all right, this is what I went to school for, this exact situation.”
“I am very, very grateful they were able to get to me quickly and arrange for my transport,” Noah said. “It was because of the local EMS I was able to get to where I needed to be quickly.”
Recent news stories have shown the importance of receiving life supporting care as soon as possible after injury. In Noah’s case, the initial on-scene care provided by the local EMS crew saved his life. National experts agree that time is considered an essential determinant in the initial care of trauma patients. Bate County residents as well as visitors are fortunate to have access to life-saving emergency care in this community.
Noah has a unique perspective on the occurrences in his life the past 9-10 months. He tends to see the big picture and he knows there were many critical factors in helping him in his recovery, from the EMS team’s speed, the great medical care he got throughout his journey, and the amazing support and love of his family and friends.
Noah – a self-proclaimed poet and musician – had to learn how to walk, move and talk again. He said one of his biggest fears initially was that he would lose his capability of creating and speaking poetry and not being able to remember his poems.
“When I finally got up the courage to look deeper and see if I remembered them, I was elated that I did remember my poems … they were still there, inside me,” he said.
When he was at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital for in-depth rehabilitation, his speech therapist had him practice tongue twisters as a way to enhance his speech and help him get back to where he was. Noah now writes his own tongue twisters, and he is in the process of creating a card game with them and maybe a book as well. He knows it could be a great tool and he hopes they will be useful in helping others hone their speaking ability.
Just as Noah’s gift for poetry and performance became part of his toolkit for rehabilitation and recovery (he wrote, practiced and recited a poem for his care team the day he was discharged from Madonna), writing has also been a tool for dealing with feelings that often accompany a traumatic, life-changing accident. One of Noah’s favorite poems he has written is a haiku, written two weeks before his accident. It has helped keep him positive during his recovery by reminding him that he is in control of his thoughts — not the other way around.
“What You Grow” by Noah Weaver
A garden of thought
can be peaceful or deadly.
What you grow matters.
As he turns to the future, he has personal goals of continuing his recovery, performing poetry and music, and cooking his own food. He knows he’ll continue regaining additional freedoms.
“2022 was in multiple ways the best and worst year of my life,” Noah said. “While the accident was the worst part, I was able to have the best year, because I have a deepened love and appreciation for others.”
In addition to being thankful for the rehabilitation care he received at Madonna in Nebraska, Noah was reunited with his trauma and therapy care teams and his EMS professionals at Research Medical Center in November 2022 during the Medical Center’s annual Thankful Families Celebration Event in November 2022.
“Noah and his family thanked us when we met them for the ALS (advanced life support) interventions we did for Noah,” Dru Jordan said. “He doesn’t remember anything that happened, but he thanked us. It was one of the few occasions that we could see the outcome of what we do.”
Russell Whisenand, Supervisor for the ambulance department, was among those recognized for Noah’s care at the scene of the accident. He observed, “It’s always an encouragement to me and my team to see a patient survive, but we were honestly shocked to see how much Noah had progressed, because his condition was so serious when we found him.
“This is why we’re here, to save lives and get patients to the critical care they need. I am proud of our team and the care they provide our community.”