QCA EMT welcomed home from hospital with surprise parade

An EMT in Prophetstown was welcomed home with a surprise parade
Published: Jun. 27, 2020 at 11:43 PM CDT
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PROPHETSTOWN, Ill. (KWQC) - A community came together Saturday afternoon in Prophetstown to celebrate an EMT who returned home after spending months in the hospital. Police, fire, and ambulance led the parade of the dozens of cars that showed up to welcome him home. While his journey back home wasn’t easy, Saturday’s celebration marked a milestone in his road to recovery.

First responders from Prophetstown and surrounding areas lead the welcome home parade with lights and sirens. Ronald Hanson has been a volunteer EMT in Prophetstown for more than two decades.

“I was surprised. I wasn’t expecting it” Hanson said, “A lot of good friends in Prophetstown. That’s what’s nice about living in a small town”

On the morning of Easter Sunday Hanson’s son, Austin urged him to seek help. Hanson suffered two strokes and two heart attacks and was flown to Chicago. Austin said his father was in bad shape.

“It was beyond the heart attacks and the strokes. It was kidney failure, liver failure, you know, infected gallbladder. He had flatlined a couple of times, you know, then he was in a very, very, very poor state of health, pneumonia in both lungs and then once they were getting them straightened out, he ended up bleeding into his brain,” Austin said.

Initially, the outlook was dismal.

“..I thought I lost my best friend I see every day of my life…,” Austin said, “He couldn’t really talk and he wasn’t able to express to me or get out what he wanted to tell me and then he kept fighting and getting better and they got him into rehab and he’s been on an uphill swing ever since”.

Hanson spent 10 weeks in the Chicago area between Central Dupage Hospital & Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital. Austin said the doctors kept in contact with him every day and gave updates on his father’s condition and progression.

“One thing I’ll say is you hear all the information about strokes, heart attacks, and fast intervention but the thing I’ll say is, don’t necessarily go off what the person tells you, because I was completely out of it. [Austin] was saying I needed to go get help. I didn’t think I did. I’ve got 20 years, over 20 years, of EMT under my belt,” Hanson said.

“I had no pain at any time. I had no warning of it coming. So if you run across somebody that ain’t acting right. Get em help. The quicker you get them help better their outcome would be”

Ronald Hanson

“I had no pain at any time. I had no warning of it coming. So if you run across somebody that ain’t acting right. Get em help. The quicker you get them help better their outcome would be,” he said.

Hanson’s coworkers and friends, Tashina Noble and Julie Pope helped plan the surprise with help from the community.

“You know in the first responder community we’re a family and no matter if we’re a different town or police, fire, EMS we’re still all one,” Pope said

Pope also said Hanson is everybody’s rock.

“He does a lot for our community. I think you can’t go anywhere without people knowing Ron and, you know, a small town he dedicates a lot of time to the ambulance service,” said Pope.

“I’m like, we got to do something big for him because he means a lot to a lot of people and we needed to show how much we appreciate him and how much everybody was praying for him and pulling for him,” Noble said.

Hanson runs his own trucking business with Austin called Ronald Hanson Trucking. Despite that, Pope said he was always one call away whenever they needed help.

“If we needed him to cover call, he would put that aside and take over and cover call for us. Obviously, when this happened...we really realized kind of was the glue that holds us together. And so we’re glad to have him back,” Pope said.

Now that Hanson is back home, he’s looking forward to the future and being able to get back in an ambulance to help others.

“I’m ready to see him get well enough to get back to saving lives and helping people. That’s really what he likes to do,” Austin said.

“I’m pretty dedicated to our ambulance service. Pretty proud of our ambulance service. They pretty much saved my life,” Hanson chimed in, “Another piece of advice I’ve got is if you smoke quit. This is a rough way to quit. I haven’t had a cigarette since Easter and now I don’t even want one”

The family said they’re still working on his vision and getting him more mobile but he’s making progress every day.

“God’s got a plan for me and I don’t know what it is yet, but we’ll be finding out what it is,” Hanson said.

“I’m very grateful to have my dad back,” Austin said

“We’re going in the right direction,” Hanson responded.

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.

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