On the morning of Nov. 23, 2020, Forsyth County man Shawn Medick was driving to Jasper on Hwy. 53 in Dawson County when his life nearly ended in a heartbeat.
A tractor-trailer on the road ahead of Medick took a turn too quickly and overturned, hitting another truck that flipped onto Medick’s car, pinning him inside the wreckage. But with the help of local first responders, Medick was extricated and flown to Grady Memorial Hospital and has spent the months since healing, recovering and learning how to function again.
Now, almost 6 months after the accident, Medick is well into the recovery process, walking again and beyond grateful to the emergency responders who helped save his life.
On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Medick and his wife Kathy visited the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office to meet and thank the firefighters, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers that responded to the emergency call in November.
“We could never repay our gratitude and we just want you guys to know we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Kathy Medick said to the assembled emergency personnel. “What you do every day is not always an easy job and you get to see the ugly side of it all, but he’s alive because of y’all.”
In the wreck, Shawn Medick suffered from brain bleeding, a broken sternum, three fractured lumbar, and a completely dislocated leg. While he doesn’t remember much about the accident or the emergency personnel who saved his life, he said that it’s extremely important for him to be able to thank the men and women who spent so much time extricating him from the wreckage.
“As soon as I got home I told [Kathy] ‘I want to get these people together so I can thank them’,” Shawn Medick said. “These guys don’t get enough praise on a daily basis for what they do, and it was important for me to see them, look them in the eye, shake their hand and tell them thank you.”
Jason Dooley, Division Chief of Operations and Training for the Dawson County Fire Department, was one of the emergency personnel who responded to the scene of the accident. According to Dooley, seeing Medick up and walking again after such a traumatic accident is a reward enough for him and the others that saved his life.
“This job is crazy; inches or feet can make all the difference in the world,” Dooley said. “Luckily the trailer itself didn’t land on the passenger compartment, it was on the engine compartment — him just standing there is thanks enough for us.”
Kathy Medick said that while her husband’s recovery process has been an arduous one, he gets closer and closer each day to where he was before the accident.
“They expect the knee to finish making a full recovery and he’ll get this mobility all the way back,” She said. “But he’s back to work, he’s been able to ride his motorcycle which he loves to do with our kids… I still have him and that’s what matters.”
According to Shawn Medick, he will forever be grateful to the everyday heroes who helped give him a second chance at life.
“They saved my life; they allowed me to live more days and be with my family,” Medick said. “It’s just really important to tell them thank you.”