911: To Call or Not to Call?

Linda Shanahan

My husband is alive today because I did call. On a Thursday, my husband, a Sun Lakes Softball League participant, was in the outfield, running to catch a fly ball, and collided with another player trying to catch that same ball. Unfortunately, both went down. Both players realized they could not continue and went home. My husband, a Warfarin (blood thinner) user, was injured on the left side of the face. He did go to urgent care, but in retrospect, should have gone to the emergency room. Saturday at 2 a.m. he woke with a headache and tried to relieve it with Excedrin. At 5 a.m. I realized something was not right and suggested he was dehydrated, so he drank water. This made it worse. Around 6 a.m., against his will, I called 911. By 9 a.m., he was undergoing neurosurgery for a subdural hematoma. The neurosurgeon said that they caught it just in time. Had we not called 911 right away, he might not have made it. Thankfully, it looks like he will have a full recovery.

In the past, I have served on what was the Sun Lakes Fire Department CAP Team (Community Assistance Program). Time and time again, I heard people say, “I didn’t want to call 911, because I didn’t want to bother them,” or “It was late at night, and I didn’t call because I didn’t want to wake them up.” Please consider this: This is their job. They do not care if they are awakened late at night.

If you have a major emergency, call and let them decide what should be done. This is not about stubbing your toe. Any major issue needs to be turned over to our professional medics/firefighters. In addition, major traumas when on blood thinners should be dealt with immediately.

I feel we have top-notch professional medics/firefighters. Call them when needed. Don’t hesitate. It may be a matter of life or death.