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February 8, 2013

Unable to speak, special needs man calls 911, saved mother

NEW ALBANY —  Darrell West proved last week that when an emergency strikes, it’s all about action, not talk.

West, age 47, is a special needs man who is unable to speak. However, he holds a job at Rauch Industries, beams with pride when he shows off pictures of his family he carries in his wallet, and on Feb. 1 he may have just saved his mother’s life.

Ann West, age 73, has housed her son and watched over him since her husband passed away. She recently fell ill with the flu, and became so sick her doctor prescribed her antibiotics for treatment.

Weakened by the illness, Ann said on that fateful day that she was watching television in her living room when an itching sensation came over her. After a few minutes, she decided to take a shower to see if that would help remedy the discomfort.

After taking a shower, Ann put on her robe and gown and returned to her recliner. She began feeling dizzy, and before she knew what was happening, tumbled face first to the ground.

“I didn’t even remember hitting the floor,” she said.

Ann had passed out, and a few moments later when she regained consciousness, Darrell was by her side. She told him to call 911, as she was unable to move and still extremely disoriented.

Darrell quickly retrieved the telephone and called emergency dispatch. He brought the phone into the living room and gave it to his mother, and she was able to muster enough strength to describe what was happening to her.

When the ambulance arrived and Ann was tested, she said her blood pressure level was recorded at 55 over 45. Ann said apparently the medication had affected her blood pressure, and the situation was quite serious.

“They said I could have died if I hadn’t gotten help when I did,” Ann said.

Ann spent the next three days in the Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services’ Critical Care Unit. Now back in her New Albany home recovering, Ann said Darrell is her lifesaver.

“He’s my miracle,” Ann said. “I am so proud of him for doing what he did.”

Darrell almost died when he was three weeks old due to pneumonia, Ann said. He developed Chicken Pox before he ever left the hospital as a baby.

But while Darrell may struggle with some actions we take for granted, Ann said she’s not surprised that he came to her rescue during her time of need.

“He can do so much that people can’t believe,” she said. “I just thank God that I have him.”



 

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Students who attended the Renaissance Academy's Culture Camp lead other students in an exercise, brainstorming thoughts, fears and opinions of the new learning style and school. The Academy is largely based on projects, working in groups and hands-on education.

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