Donna Walmsley started her day on February 4, 2019 just like any other Monday, volunteering at Community CareÂ Ennismore and running errands around town. She didnât feel any different that morning than any other morning, but February 4th is the day Donna had a stroke.
âI was fine,â said Donna. âI went to Giant Tiger and started driving to No Frills, and then I felt like I couldnât see.â
Donna missed her first turn into the plaza and then remembered there is a second entrance, which she managed to pull into and park. Realizing no one would notice her inside the vehicle, Donna willed herself to move.
âI opened my car door and I didnât know if I could walk, I didnât know if I could make it across the parking lot, but I needed to get to a public space,â said Donna, who describes the feeling as extreme dizziness. Donna made it inside the No Frills and held onto the vegetable shelves to prevent herself from falling.
Luckily for Donna, Fleming College Paramedic student Davis Sheridan was grocery shopping that day.
âI told the employees to call the Paramedics because they werenât sure what to do. I comforted her until the ambulance came and I did a stroke assessment on her, checked her pulse, and calmed her breathing,â explained Davis, who is in his final semester at Fleming. âShe felt dizzy and she couldnât stand up, she was worried about her dog being at home and no one being there, and she also mentioned her daughter Shannon.â
When Paramedics arrived, Davis reported all of this to them.
âWe are going through ride-outs right now in the Paramedic program,â said Davis, referring to the fourth-semester Paramedic Consolidation course, where students work regular shifts in an ambulance with a paramedic crew. âI am doing mine with Northumberland Paramedics right now, which is working with real patients, so this situation felt natural to me and I was comfortable. I felt very prepared through school and experience.â
Donna and her daughter Shannon are very grateful to Davis. On Monday, March 4, they visited the Paramedic Lab at Flemingâs Sutherland Campus to thank Davis in person.
âYouâre going into this career and I think itâs nice to go into it having a happy story to hang on to,â said Shannon, who teased her mom when she met Davis.
âMy mom loves red hair,â said Shannon.
Donna added, âShannon said to me, âleave it to you to find a redhead!â