BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Passion. Pride. Compassion. It's these three things that bring Bay County Paramedic Leah Denmark to work every morning.
"When it really comes down to it, it's about passion," said Denmark.
It's a passion clearly seen during a call back in February, when she along with multiple agencies arrived to a home where a woman had no pulse and was not breathing. With others already tending to the unresponsive woman, Denmark focused on the patient's family, the woman's sister and mother standing by.
"Our patient isn't always just our patient," said Denmark. "It's not just one person we're dealing with, we're dealing with a lot of people."
The patient's sister describes Denmark's voice as comforting and calming on that February day.
"I try to treat everyone with the respect that I want to be treated with, that my family would want to be treated with," said Denmark.
The support didn't stop there. Denmark checked back in with the family at the hospital later that day and consoled them once again. After Denmark learns the woman didn't make it, her sister questions Denmark about whether she did enough to help her.
"In that situation, you're of course going to question everything you're doing," said Denmark. "It's your loved one."
The victim's sister was actually the first one to give CPR before first responders arrived.
"I just wanted to comfort her and say 'Hey listen, you worked the best you could with what you had. You did exactly needed to be done. You did best by your sister.'
On a day filled with grief, even guilt, Denmark provided comfort and reassurance. The family met up with Denmark at a later date with flowers to thank her for her support in person.
"A thank you is great, it really is, it makes me feel good," said Denmark. "But that day, I was doing my job."
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