The health care professionals who stop at nothing to save strangers

There are happy endings and sad ones and today there’s an example of both in the category of first responders and health care professionals.

In Wright County, Marilyn Paumen, 51, of Monticello was seriously hurt when her SUV struck an ambulance head on earlier this month. An EMT and a paramedic were badly hurt in the crash. The patient in the ambulance had to call 911 for help.

The medic was most seriously hurt, but the EMT, Tim Daly, 43, of Albertville, Minn., will spend months in a wheelchair with his leg injuries. Even so, according to some of his colleagues on Facebook, he crawled out of the ambulance to help Paumen with her injuries.

Unfortunately, she died today, the Star Tribune reports.

As for the paramedic, Brian Nagel, 30, of Greenwood, has facial and head injuries. He underwent additional surgery this week to save his sight in one eye, according to his family’s Caring Bridge site, which also reported he was reunited with Daly, who visited him in the ICU.

In Alabama during this week’s snow and ice storm, Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw was to assist another surgeon with brain surgery, but he was stuck at another hospital. Dr. Hrynkiw could tell by the CT scans that the patient “had a 90-percent chance of dying,” he said. So he walked six miles to the other hospital, stopping to help push stranded motorists out of ditches along the way, according to the Birmingham News .

The 62-year-old doctor, who has had a liver transplant, said he never doubted he would make it.

“It was kind of a nice day for a walk,” said Hrynkiw, who plays tennis and walks to stay in shape.

Hrynkiw said he looked at it as a journey.

“It was kind of a fun journey, unfortunately I had my slip-ons and my scrubs … so I was not really geared for my adventure.”

He said it got cold and when he saw an ambulance he sat there and warmed up until he realized he wasn’t getting anywhere.

The patient who underwent brain surgery is expected to survive.