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The letter took nearly two years to write. After all, how can someone sum up in words their gratitude to the person that saved their life and the life of their unborn child? That’s the kind of letter that Hall County Fire Chief Jeff Hood found sitting on his desk earlier this month.
On July 7, 2013, Hall County resident Julie Carnes began hemorrhaging in her sleep. She was 34 weeks pregnant and had been diagnosed with placenta previa. The condition occurs when a baby’s placenta partially or completely covers the opening in the mother’s cervix and results in a high-risk pregnancy. Since it was a holiday weekend, Julie’s main obstetricians were both out of town, and the on-call physician advised her to go to a hospital an hour’s drive away. That’s when Julie decided to call 911.
“When Station 14 got the call that fateful night, they were already at my house by the time I got out to the porch,” said Carnes in her letter to Chief Hood.
She said that’s when a hero, Hall County Emergency Medical Technician Jonathan Baker, emerged.
“He got on the phone with the doctor, who told him to take me to Emory,” Carnes wrote. “Jonathan informed the OB that my baby and I would not make it that far, so he was taking us to Northeast Georgia Medical Center. He told the doctor to call the hospital and brief the doctors there on my case.”
Luckily, Carnes delivered a healthy baby boy named Sam a short time later at the Gainesville hospital.
“If it were not for the quick response, decision making and duties of the EMT team that night, my son Sam and I would not be alive today,” Carnes wrote. “This letter should have been sent to you a while ago, but every time I sat down to write this letter of recommendation, words do not seem to be enough to express my family’s gratitude for our hero, Jonathan Baker.”
After receiving the letter, Chief Hood helped organize a reunion between Carnes, her son Sam and their hero. The two met with Jonathan Baker at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at Station 14.
“Our EMTs are saving lives out there every day, and this was no different,” Baker said. “I am so glad this situation had the outcome that it did. I’m just so thankful.”