Recovering stroke patient treats medics to dinner

2014-07-31T00:05:00Z 2014-07-31T09:39:02Z Recovering stroke patient treats medics to dinnerBy Kimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Paramedics help save lives in Tucson every day.

But once a patient arrives at the hospital, the medics’ job ends and they rarely learn the outcome.

Wednesday night, however, the 14-member crew of Tucson Fire Department Station No. 7 on East Pima Street shared a meal with Sandy Goodsite, 72, who survived an April stroke in large part due to the quick response by paramedics Bill Nielson and Robert Smith.

Goodsite and her husband, pediatrician Dr. Ron Goodsite, catered dinner for the crew.

“It’s our way of saying a little extra ‘thank you’ to a group of dedicated city employees,” said Dr. Goodsite. “We wanted to do a little more than walk in and say ‘thanks.’ ”

Sandy Goodsite was at her medical billing office April 22 when she suffered a stroke. It took just 13 minutes from the time her daughter called 911 to the time Nielson and Smith got her to the Tucson Medical Center emergency room, said Capt. Barrett Baker, spokesman for the TFD.

Because the medics recognized Goodsite’s symptoms and called ahead, the hospital staff had a team from their stroke unit assembled and standing by when Goodsite was rolled in, her husband said.

Because the team was forewarned of her arrival, within 22 minutes Goodsite was examined, had a brain scan and was administered a drug to reduce the clot in her brain that has allowed her to achieve a 95 percent recovery so far, according to TMC officials.

“We don’t find out very often how our people fare, so this kind of exciting,” Nielson said. “To find out something we did helped, that’s really rewarding and that’s what we all got in the job for.”

The couple were so appreciative of the medics’ efforts they had a Chinese dinner catered at the firehouse.

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