SAN ANTONIO – A South Side nurse found himself on the other end of a life-or-death situation.
Jason Clarke, 46, almost died in a crash last August. On Thursday, he met the paramedics and firefighters who helped save his life.
“I didn’t know who they were. I can’t remember their faces. I can’t tell you their names, but just going back and thinking about it all the times that they came to my ER and I didn’t realize just how much they’re under-appreciated,” said Clarke.
Clarke was the passenger in a car that crashed into a barrier. He was pinned in the vehicle and suffered major injuries.
A witness called for help, and paramedics rushed to the scene, pulling him out of the mangled vehicle.
“They had to put two tourniquets on me. To be bleeding that much, if there wouldn’t have been a witness, I don’t think by the time they got to the scene, I would have made it,” said Clarke.
Clarke lost his right arm and spent more than a month recovering in the hospital from multiple surgeries and injuries.
“Definitely no surprise that he had the injuries that he did. It was just more extreme than what we normally see on a wreck,” said Ross Basaldu, SAFD Fire Engineer & EMS. “We never get to see our patients again after something that -- a serious injury. So it’s exciting to know that he’s doing well. He’s doing OK and that we actually made a difference in somebody’s life.”
Clarke returned to work about six weeks ago as a full-time nurse at Mission Trail Baptist Hospital.
He is re-learning basic things, such as how to open a jar or wash dishes with one arm, but he is grateful for the help he’s received from family and friends and for every moment he has thanks in part to the group of paramedics and those around him.
“I just want to say thanks to them, buy them a drink and maybe dinner, and just find out what happened. Just thank them because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here,” said Clarke.