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A paramedic inspires an injured boy's mother to be a nurse

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

Time now for StoryCorps. In the summer of 1991, Bryan Lindsay was 7 years old. He was riding his bike and got hit by a van. He suffered a head injury and was put into a medically induced coma. Decades later, Bryan came to StoryCorps to speak with one of the paramedics, Rowan Allen, who helped him that day.

ROWAN ALLEN: I remember your mother asking me, is he going to be all right? But I didn't know what was wrong or how bad you were. My partners and I would come to the hospital every chance we got and check in on you. To this day, when I start thinking about the details, I get choked up.

BRYAN LINDSAY: You know, my mom always would say you're a strong person. God brought you back for a reason. I have to give it to you 'cause my life wouldn't be anything without you guys.

ALLEN: But no matter when we went there, your mother was always there. You can't define a mother any better than that. You know, after you started to get better, we got really close 'cause every December, she would drop something off for Christmas, and that went on for quite a few years. Then we kind of lost touch. But one day, I brought a patient into the hospital, and I heard this nurse's voice. She completely caught me off guard.

MARTINEZ: That nurse who stopped Rowan in his tracks turned out to be Bryan's mom, Dorothy. Rowan and Dorothy met again for StoryCorps.

ALLEN: Just your voice after all those years made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

DOROTHY SALMON-LINDSAY: And you said, oh, you're a nurse now. I said, yeah, I forgot to tell you that.

(LAUGHTER)

SALMON-LINDSAY: It's interesting because when I was a little girl, my dad used to tell me, you're going to be a nurse. But when this accident happened, I said, maybe this is God's way of saying, you know, your father was right. I enrolled in nursing school, and I have to say you were a part of that inspiration. You know, you were phenomenal in taking care of us. I remember when Bryan was in the ICU, all the alarms were very intimidating and frightening, and you would explain what they meant. That experience totally solidified that that was my calling.

ALLEN: For me, I kept one mantra that I said to myself as a paramedic. It could be me or one of mine.

SALMON-LINDSAY: It takes good people to do good work, and it shows in what you do. And I will continue to give my 100% to every family I interact with.

ALLEN: And knowing where Bryan came from, the road he had to go through and where he is today, that's one of the crowning achievements of my career.

(SOUNDBITE OF BRYAN COPELAND'S "ELEGIAC")

MARTINEZ: That's Dorothy Salmon-Lindsay and Rowan Allen. Today, Bryan is 37 years old, and he's a chef in New York. Rowan also became a nurse. He and Dorothy work in the same unit. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Janmaris Perez