December 23, 2013-In 2003, Cody Richard of Carencro was in a coma for more than 90 days after a single-vehicle accident nearly ended his life. Ten years later, he was able to reunite with the Acadian medics who helped save him.
"I was on the way home," Richard said. "A buddy of mine was dropping me off, but we never made it there."
Paramedic Rick Perry was one of the medics on the scene that night along with Operations Supervisor Cody Leckelt. During the reunion, he reflected on the accident. "When we arrived, we found Cody lying in the middle of the road," he said. "As we approached him, we noticed his head was almost completely twisted around his body. I immediately thought that he didn't survive the crash."
Suffering severe head trauma and multiple broken bones, Richard was treated and transported to American Legion Hospital in Crowley, La. After assessing the magnitude of his condition, Richard was immediately transferred by Air Med to Our Lady of Lourdes in Lafayette, La., with very slim chances of survival. His family was told that even if he did survive, he would be bedridden for the rest of his life.
Dr. Charles Burnell, now Acadian's medical director, was the emergency room physician on call when Richard arrived.
"Typically, with these types of injuries, the patient does not recover," Burnell said. "Cody's positive outcome is extremely rare in the medical field."
After multiple surgeries and years of rehabilitation and recovery, Richard is now living a normal day-to-day life.
"I am so blessed to be able to meet these gentlemen who helped save my life," Richard said. "Acadian hires professionals who really know what they're doing."
Marc Creswell, operations manager for Air Med, said, "Over the course of a paramedic's career, you will probably transport anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 patients. To see one who survived such a traumatic accident over 10 years ago makes all the time spent in the classroom and all the hours of training worth it."
Since 1971, Acadian has provided the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation possible. In the past decade, the company has expanded to include a diverse suite of services in health, safety, and transportation. Acadian's six divisions are Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Monitoring Services, Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, National EMS Academy and Safety Management Systems.