OKLAHOMA CITY – Saving lives is normal for Harrison Walter. The EMSA medic responded to a call that would give him a chance to change a life.
Charisse Alexander-Paul fell out of her wheelchair July 29, crushing her foot.
Getting her out of the house was tricky because there was not a wheelchair ramp, so they finally strapped her on a gurney. Walter asked her two questions as he loaded her into the ambulance.
Medicaid would not cover the cost of a ramp and Alexander-Paul’s landlord said if she wanted it, she would have to pay for it.
“Of all the programs there are to help people out, food stamps, welfare, free cell phones, but we can`t get a wheelchair ramp for a nice old lady.” Walter said. “That irritated me.”
Walter collected donations all week for co-workers, raising money for materials. He showed up at Alexander-Paul’s house on Saturday with a promise: He was building her ramp for free.
Alexander-Paul has not been able to go outside since April.
“I was so happy that he told me he would do that.” She cried. “And then today he came and I was just overwhelmed.”
This is the first time Walter has reached out to help a patient. For Alexander-Paul, it showed a different side of EMSA.
“He didn`t know me and it`s not his obligation. He had compassion for me.” She said. “I just want him to know that I`ll never forget him and his kindness, and he`s someone that I`ll call a friend.”
Walter also brought his kids with him to help him build the ramp and teach them to put others first.