Finger Lakes Ambulance paramedic Elsie Allen reunited with her former patient Jerry Russi, who thanked her for saving his life after a car crash in Marion earlier this summer.
Allen responded to the May 2019 crash and provided advanced life support assistance to Marion Ambulance, which initiated patient care.
Russi said in his thank-you speech that he wasn’t the easiest patient to deal with, as he refused life-saving measures offered by Allen. He added that she never treated him poorly and only tried to make him see the benefit of what she was trying to do.
Russi was hesitant to accept help because he saw the effects of narcotics through his work with the Finger Lakes Area Counseling & Recovery Agency. After minutes of convincing, Russi allowed Allen to give him the care he needed.
It took multiple appointments and hours of therapy over four months for Russi to walk without assistance for the first time since his accident. Doctors were surprised he was alive, let alone walking on his own.
Allen learned during the thank-you celebration just how critical Russi was that night. He suffered a smashed pelvis, severed main artery that affected his intestines, blood clots in his lungs and severe internal bleeding. Her quick, accurate medical attention is credited with saving his life.
“You are my angel and I will be forever grateful for you, Elsie,” Russi said.