Yesterday, I tried to call my dad on fathers day. He didn’t answer. I tried the whole day to track him down. I was getting a little frustrated. Like “yo pop, just answer your phone.”
Because I couldn’t find him, I made a passive aggressive Instagram post on his behalf.
Come to find out that my dad spent the entire day doing working. My dad had important work to do.
This is the text message I received from my father after not being able to hunt him down to wish him a happy fathers day.
Yesterday, my dad saved a man’s life.
This morning, my father told me the story. He got the call of an unresponsive man at the gym. These calls are relatively common. People pass out at the gym and so they were expecting this call to be a standard trip to the hospital. But as they were en route, the dispatcher reported the man unresponsive. My dad and his team got there and they had literally seconds to save this man’s life. There was no time to hesitate or second guess. Training kicks in and they got to work.
The first thing my dad said to me was how great his team did and how well everyone worked together to get this man’s heart beating again. When he brought the man to the hospital, he found out that he had a daughter.
One of the first podcasts I ever did was with my father. He and I spoke deeply about the trauma that paramedics deal with and bring with them through life. My father has watched countless people die. He has been right in the middle of the heroin epidemic in Philadelphia and the last few years brought with them some tough calls with kids who are way too young to die. These calls have stuck to my father. It has weighed on him and hundreds of other medics and firefighters and police officers who see good people die tragically for no apparent reason.
But day after day, my dad and his crew keep showing up to do the work we all take for granted.
Yesterday, my dad and his team brought a 47 year old father back to life. He was dead. His heart was not beating. But because of the amazing people who do this unforgiving work, this guy is alive and hugging his daughter the day after fathers day.
My dad is a super hero.