The Honour to Witness

Being a paramedic is a bit like being a photographer.  You get to witness and take snapshots of people’s lives, and that small moment you spend with your patient is frozen in your memory, like a photo stored in an album.  Overtime, you develop a collection of these photos, and perhaps after many years, you’ve collected so many albums that many of these photos just don’t stand out as they used to when you only had one album.  What is amazing is when you flip through your album, you realize how many lives you’ve touched.  As a paramedic, you have the honour to witness and play a role in people’s lives, sometimes at their most vulnerable, and witness the raw emotions–love, hate, fear, anger, relief, happiness–in its purest form.

Not too long ago, I was the photographer for a child and a father.  The snapshots I took were of love so strong there were no words to describe, it just sent shivers down my spine.  It was another ordinary day, a father was picking up his child so he could ride on his shoulders.  As bad luck will have it, the child fell and hit the pavement head first.  On the ride to the hospital, I witnessed sadness, frustration, anger, love, guilt–emotions in its most raw form.  So raw that it was piercing and my heart ached for the father as I tried to console him.  That day, I captured the love a parent has for their child, a love beyond any I’ve ever felt or witnessed.  I can’t think of another job that allows me to play a part in such a significant life-changing moment of another person’s life, nor one where they are most thankful.

The Honour to Witness–That is something to treasure.

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  • Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose. -Tom Krause
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