Caroline Williams & John Tabarlet
Emergency Medical Services
On 11/7/22, Caroline Williams, received a call from her husband, John Tabarlet’s, phone. To her surprise, it was not him on the other line but instead a woman informing her that her husband had been in a bad car accident and paramedics were on the way. Caroline went and spoke to her manager at NRMC who was able to find out that NRMC Ambulance Services reported to the scene and were taking him to the trauma unit at Rapides.
Caroline and her manager began the drive to Rapides when she received a call from John’s number. This time on the phone was Larry Atteridge, NRMC paramedic, informing Caroline that they were in route to Rapides and her husband was doing well. Larry then put John on the phone for Caroline so she could hear his voice for the first time since the accident. “My husband being my husband joked with me a bit, let me know that Larry was taking excellent care of him and also his phone was about to lose the charge so I wouldn’t be able to hear from him again until he got to the hospital,” said Caroline.
During the drive to Rapides, Larry would call Caroline on his personal phone to give her updates on John. After arriving at Rapides, it was determined that John had several broken ribs on the front and back of his left side, a broken left humerus and a ruptured spleen that would need to be addressed right away. That night an interventional radiologist was brought in to embolize the splenic injury and after a five day stay in the ICU, John was released. In the days and weeks that followed, Larry would call Caroline and John to check in on them.
The month following the accident, John would be in an out of the hospital for suspected internal bleeding and his hemoglobin being at dangerous levels. “On November 8th after being released from yet another hospital visit just days before, I found my husband on the living room floor at 5:30 in the morning. His BP was extremely low and he was sweating profusely. After some urging, he was exhausted from hospital visits by this time, I finally called 911 at about 6:00,” said Caroline.
The NRMC Ambulance services team that arrived at the scene, included Larry. Larry helped Caroline encourage John to go to the NRMC Emergency Room where they discovered his hemoglobin was in the 5.6 range and he had suffered a stroke. Caroline and John spent the next 24 hours in the NRMC Emergency Room while they waited to be transferred to Rapides to see John’s previous surgeon. Friday afternoon before he was transferred and Larry popped in again to check on John and Caroline and help get John ready for transport.
“To say my husband has been through the ringer would be an understatement and though he’s still recovering and has yet to return to work, he’s still here with me and I believe with all my heart that it is because we had the best paramedic at the scene. To this day, Larry still checks on my husband and I know that he will forever be a part of our lives. My husband says, ‘There may be better men walking this earth than Larry but I’ve never met one and I’m damn sure I never will,’” said Caroline.