SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – It’s been four months since Don Jorgensen and his wife Pam had a Memorial Day motorcycle accident where they both broke their left leg.
Now that they are mobile again, they set out to meet the people who have helped them start their journey to recovery.
âI did the initial assessments,â said Riley McManus, a firefighter with the Sioux Falls fire department. “I came to you (Don) first and you were better than you (Pam).”
For the first time since the crash, Don and Pam were able to go over the details of what happened with the first responders who were at the scene.
âWe have a trauma assessment checklist that we’re looking at, a rapid trauma assessment, you haven’t touched any major,â McManus told Don.
The firefighters all remember that Pam was much worse than Don after that first assessment.
âAs I walked from one place to another, I glanced at your leg and took a double take,â a firefighter said. “It wasn’t a normal broken leg.”
Pam said she remembered trying to get off the street, but a nurse working at the Avera Clinic on the corner of 69th and West came to help her when she saw the crash and told her not to move because her leg was broken.
âYou looked at me and said, ‘Do you think I’m going to be able to play golf with my sister this weekend? âI said no mom, no you won’t,â McManus said.
From humorous moments to the most serious situations, Don and Pam were grateful to learn more about what happened at the scene that day.
âThe reason we came here was to thank you and just to put a face on the uniforms,â Don said.
But there was a bigger goal behind this meeting for both parities.
âThank you for making our Memorial Day a memorable one, we appreciate all you do and all you did for us that day,â Don and Pam wrote in a first responder thank you card.
While the card and gift meant a lot to the firefighters, they say it’s also very special to find out what happened to the patients they helped on a scene.
âWe very rarely get toâ¦ Due to the HIPPA rules a lot cannot be disclosed,â said Captain Trent Boe.
Sometimes firefighters are able to figure out certain details after working on a certain scene, but other times they will do all they can to help with no idea of ââthe outcome.
âNormally you do your job and pass it on to the next group,â McManus said.
âI hate to say it, but sometimes we look at obituaries just to see if that person is in there,â Boe said.
This is why happy reunions like the one with Don and Pam are so important.
âThe last time we saw them they were on the ground and needed help,â Boe said. âIt’s nice to see them again and to enjoy life again.
The biggest thank you is being able to see the reward for their work in person.
âIt means a lot to us to see them get out of their van and see them walk to the front door,â Boe said. “Nice to see you come out now, although you probably don’t play golf yet.” “
Don said their doctors say it will be a full year before Pam makes a full recovery. The two are still in physiotherapy twice a week.