Open Letter of Thanks: Dr. David Schultz and UMBC Police
From Stung, Stunned and Discombobulated to Breathing Easy
I would like to offer a public heartfelt thank you to the UMBC police, and Professor David Schultz, of the UMBC Psychology department, who assisted me at my greatest time of need when I had an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting on Friday afternoon, October, 18, 2013.
I am eternally grateful for Professor Schultz’s assistance to assist and instruct the 911 dispatch to help the UMBC Police department and them help the EMTs to find my exact location on campus. At the time, I was a bit disoriented and very dizzy with moderate anaphylactic symptoms and not able to communicate as clearly through the swelling of my lower lip and tongue and stay fully alert. I was struggling. Professor Schultz handled the situation perfectly by stepping forward and asking “How Can I Help?” . He adroitly assessed the situation and noticed I was having difficulty and stepped up to the task of helping dispatch to find me on the campus. He stayed with me and did not leave me alone until they arrived. I was comforted that I was in competent sincere hands. I relaxed in full trust that everything would be okay.
My younger sister, who lives across town, was listed as a phone contact in my ICE (In case of Emergency) speed dial numbers that I have set up as a system to help me remotely when I am somewhat incapacitated and cannot act on my own behalf. She is the mastermind that quickly coordinated the initial call to 911. She gave them my health status, phone number and location. I carry a health bag/emergency pack daily with all of my necessities (Epi-Pens, inhaler, medications, wipes etc). As emergencies are always unexpected, this emergency bag and preparedness came in handy and helped others to help me save my life on that day.
The team work of everyone was gentle, proactive, respectful, caring, effective. It is so hard coping with rebounding from homelessness, surviving domestic violence, multiple illnesses, disabilities and life threatening allergies, to co-exist in a world that sometimes looks at that kind of existence in a negative light. Disability can be seen as less than courageous and associated with negative motivations for attention-seeking, suspicious behavior, laziness or even weakness. So sometimes the help is not there as needed or it is cruel or worse yet, indifferent. I am usually independent and try to be as private as possible. But sometimes, I must reach for others and blindly trust them to help. On Friday, I did just that.
I am grateful for the quick thinking, kindness and sincere offers of help on Friday. I am grateful to be respectfully asked “How can I help?”. That considerate, humble gesture has left me with a deep and abiding respect and a well of trust for Dr. Schultz. Of course, also as a daughter of a retired/deceased father of law enforcement and a mother who has been a nurse for 44 years, my heart is forever with those in blue who serve and with the EMTs who give the most selfless, consistent, lifesaving public service.
I say thank you to all today, with everything I can muster in my soul and full of tears because without you on Friday helping me, I may not have survived to see this beautiful Fall morning.
Please know that I think of you as heroes and heroines. You mean everything to me today.
UMBC English alumnae
UMBC Psychology undergraduate