TROY — When an elderly driver drove into the Outpatient South building in Troy, members of the Upper Valley Medical Center Occupational Health team responded quickly.
“We heard a loud boom. We thought it was from our physician assistant’s office,” said Mindy Oates, a medical assistant at Occupational Health. “She (Kelly Prikkel, physician assistant) met us at the door and said an elderly man had hit the building. She took off running, so we followed.”
Others in the Occupational Health office and other building offices called 9-1-1.
Oates, fellow assistant Lindsay Ryan and physician assistant Kelly Prikkel headed down the stairs and to the front of the building.
There, they found the driver outside the passenger side of the car attempting to help his elderly wife inside.
Prikkel saw the woman’s arm had a serious fracture, so she held the arm in a stable position until Troy Fire Department medics arrived. She noticed the man, who had come to the South Dorset Road medical building for treatment of COPD, having difficulty breathing and asked helpers to summon Rod MacGregor, MD, to assist.
Joined by fellow assistant Amanda Dillon, the medical assistants grabbed towels, gloves, bandages, and other supplies.
The couple were stabilized and kept calm until help arrived.
Prikkel said her experience with trauma patients helped with her immediate response. “Working in the ER, I think, helped me,” she said.
Ryan, who also works in medical/surgical ICU, agreed. “I was running all over getting various items for Kelly. I just went immediately into trauma mode,” she said.
“They were very apologetic. They felt so bad,” Dillon said of the couple.
“It felt good to help them,” Dillon said. Her advice to others: “Go when needed; don’t hesitate to help.”