Kim Wasserman, RN, knew something was guiding her to take an alternate route to work on that early September morning. She was heading back to Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph for a meeting after spending most of the morning in Niles.
While driving, Kim, a Registered Nurse and Staff Educator for Lakeland University, remembered that the bridge over Niles Avenue was closed for construction. She changed course. After making a turn, Kim drove past a home and thought she saw someone lying face down on the garage floor.
“I knew I had to go back,” said Kim, who’s been a member of the Lakeland family for the past 23 years. “If there was nobody there then I would know for sure, but I had to check.”
Kim’s intuition proved correct. She discovered an elderly woman bleeding profusely, struggling to breathe.
“I introduced myself and told her that I was there to help,” Kim said. “I rolled her over on her back and she opened her eyes. I checked her vitals, which were stable, and then went into the house to get some towels. The woman spoke for the first time and said, ‘Don’t leave me.’”
Kim reassured her that everything would be okay. When she returned with the towels, the woman asked her to contact her granddaughter and gave her a phone number. After she called 9-1-1, Kim contacted the granddaughter and informed her of the situation. The granddaughter rushed over and was there when the ambulance arrived to take her grandmother to the hospital.
Kim went home to change her clothes and then went to the hospital. Her first stop was to visit the elderly woman whom she helped. She was in a neck brace and her granddaughter was with her.
“I walked in and the granddaughter hugged me,” Kim said. “I introduced myself again to the woman, and she said that she remembered my voice. She told me that God had sent me to her. That if I hadn’t have come, she would have died.”
The woman told Kim that she was lonely and had gone outside to smell the rain and watch the cars go by. On her way into the garage, she tripped over a step and landed face down.
“I cannot imagine not stopping that day,” Kim said. “It’s what healthcare professionals do – it’s just right. My only thought was to help this woman. I was meant to be there for her.”
Since then, Kim has adjusted her route and drives past the woman’s house every day.