ARLINGTON – An Armstrong Ambulance paramedic reunited with a couple he treated on the third anniversary of a serious accident, with the couple crediting his professionalism and quick response with saving their lives.
Lisa and Pat Lowe, of Littleton, hugged Paramedic Nick Henderson and thanked him and other first responders during the reunion on Thursday afternoon.
“They looked at (Lisa) right away, made a very quick decision, which obviously was a very good decision,” Pat Lowe says.
“If everybody hadn’t done their job so well, I wouldn’t be here,” Lisa Lowe says.
Pat Lowe and Lisa Lowe (who was Lisa Russell at the time) were walking their dog at about 4:50 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, 2018, when they were struck by a car driven by an impaired 17-year-old on Spring Street in Medford near Emerald Street. A Brookline woman was killed. Lisa suffered burns and significant leg injuries, while Pat suffered head injuries.
Armstrong Ambulance was dispatched to calls for multiple people injured. Henderson was among the initial first responders to arrive. He provided critical aid, stabilized the couple and ensured both were transported quickly to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment.
Pat was discharged the next day. Lisa spent a month at MGH, and 2.5 months at Spaulding Rehabilitation in Charlestown as she began her journey toward recovery.
Lisa does not remember the crash and did not recognize Henderson when they met on Thursday. Henderson, with 18 years in emergency services, remembers that day vividly. He says Lisa’s injuries were so severe he was not sure whether she would keep her legs.
On the first anniversary of the accident, the Lowes dropped off tokens of appreciation with those that assisted them in their recovery, including Armstrong Ambulance. They also stopped in the North End, where they had their first date. That’s when Pat proposed to Lisa.
Days before their September 2020 wedding, the couple was able to connect with Henderson and invited him to attend via Zoom, in gratitude for his care in 2018.
Lisa walked down the aisle at her wedding. The newlyweds danced their first dance.
“I honestly was expecting a cane, maybe a wheelchair,” says Henderson, who is now one of Armstrong’s Field Operations Managers. “There’s no quit in her.”
“If I’m getting married, I wanted to be walking,” she says.
Lisa, a physical therapist, shares her long road of rehabilitation with her students. She says she appreciates the smaller things, such as being able to stand to unload the dishwasher. “Every few months, you look back and say, ‘That is so much easier now.’”
She has been able to resume one of her passions, rowing. She adds that she has not been able to return to running – yet. That likely will require knee replacement.
“They went through all this effort to save my legs,” she says. “I might as well put them to good use.”