WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Last month, three health-care heroes and first responders all happened to show up when someone needed them most. It all started when David Knighton, an EMT in training, stumbled upon the West Palm Beach scene first.
“I was in my car coming back from the gym, and I noticed a gentleman on the ground and a bicycle on the ground, so I immediately pulled over and went over to assist him,” he said.
Mary Wallace, an intensive care unit nurse at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, was stopped at the intersection of 45th Street and Congress Avenue. She knew there was an incident up ahead, but she didn’t expect to see who she did at the scene.
“I pulled my car right behind his and didn’t even realize it was his car,” she explained. “I just got out and screamed, ‘David, don’t move him, don’t move him,’” she said.
David is her son.
“While assisting the patient, my mother came out of nowhere, and I felt more comfortable I wasn’t by myself,” he said.
Wallace said she was out running errands on her day off.
“I pull over in that median right there and run across the street and see my son was already tending to the guy,” she said. “It was drizzling rain. I said ‘David, go to the car, get my jacket, get an umbrella, because I have to keep him warm, he is going to go into shock.’”
Dispatch then sent a crew from West Palm Beach Fire Rescue.
“I was talking to dispatch,” said Wallace.
Dr. Steven Keehn, the assistant medical director for West Palm Beach Fire Rescue was riding with them.
“I got down on my hands and knees, and I look at the patient to asses the situation, I see David there,” he explained. “David said, ‘Dr. Keehn, it’s me David from class 95.' And I said, 'David, it’s so good to see you, can you give me a report sir?’ So, he started telling me about the situation that the patient was going into shock.”
So, just to be clear, David Knighton stopped to help a man lying on the road. His mom, who is an ICU nurse, happened to show up, and so did his teacher from EMT school. It makes for a beaming mom.
“It made me feel proud, because this is what I do everyday, so of course I want to do to help somebody,” she said. “The fact my son stopped to help somebody that he didn’t even know, it was a proud moment for me.”
It also made for a proud mentor and teacher.
“You can help more patients by teaching that you can individually as a physician, and I love to teach,” he said.
Not to mention, a stroke of luck in the midst of a terrible situation for the patient.
Wallace said the bystanders who called 911 said, “Today was his lucky day. God sent two angels. A boy and his mom.”