On Wednesday, September 11th, the South Plains Chapter of the American Red Cross will honor heroism on the South Plains.
One of the heroes they will honor is a Lubbock paramedic, but it's what Jason Cook did while he was off duty that earned him the honor.
Helping people in need comes naturally to Jason Cook, so even though the Lubbock UMC paramedic was off duty, he stopped to help when he passed by a car accident.
Little did he know, he would be the one who ended up in the back of the ambulance that day.
Sunday afternoon on April 14th, Jason, along with his wife, Amy and three children were headed to Levelland to see family when they spotted the accident on Highway 114. Never really "off duty" and without a second thought, Jason grabbed a pair of gloves from his truck and rushed to go help those injured.
"I saw this girl sitting on the pavement so I started walking to her. The last thing I remember is just hearing squealing tires and then waking up in the ambulance," Jason said.
Jason had been hit by a van driving by. His 11-year-old son saw his dad fly about 10 feet in the air and land in the back of a pickup truck.
"Austin screamed, Dad! I just jumped out of the truck and took off running," Amy said. "I just kept screaming his name over and over and over and he wouldn't respond. I didn't know what to do. There were people there just holding me."
Just thinking about the accident brought tears to Amy's eyes as she looked at her husband still recovering from the traumatic accident. "I really thought he was gone forever," she said.
Like father, like son Austin rushed to help his dad. "He took his shirt off and helped press it against my head that was bleeding really bad," Jason said. "It was pretty awesome. He did a lot for an 11-year-old kid having to see his dad go through that."
Jason was rushed to UMC where he had emergency surgery the next day. With a five day stay at the hospital Jason was able to return home with a broken ankle, broken pelvis, fractured shoulder blade, bruised lungs and several staples in the back of his head.
Unable to walk without the help of crutches or a walker, Jason will be out of work for another eight weeks while he recovers. While Jason is usually the one who helps others, he says he was shocked and humbled to find out his EMS buddies are planning to help him.
"It's overwhelming. It's a lot of work for those guys to do out of the goodness of their hearts. All I can say is a very big thank you," Jason said.
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