OKC Woman Returns Paramedic's Wallet, Lost During Rescue

Friday, February 21st 2014, 9:35 pm
By: News 9

From keys to glasses and cell phones, it is common for emergency patients to lose things in the chaos and shuffle into an ambulance. However, an EMSA paramedic got a surprise Friday thanks to an elderly patient he helped two months ago.

Tommie Lou Levi collapsed in her Oklahoma City home in December and could not get up. Neighbors finally heard her screams and called an ambulance.

"I had been in that house six days without water or food," Levi explained.

Paramedic Mike Cain and others had to drag Levi out of the house on a heavy-duty cloth mat called a mega mover because they could not fit a stretcher inside. Cain did not realize at the time he dropped his wallet in Levi's home.

"Right before the holidays, you know, I mean it put a big strain on me and my wife and ‘Oh no, how are we going to do this,'" Cain recalled.

Levi was in the hospital for a week and rehabilitation for a month, so she only recently found the wallet and called EMSA to return it to Cain.

"Whenever I pulled up and looked over there, it brought me right back to, I guess December 18th," Cain laughed.

He was glad to see the irreplaceable stuff again including a challenge coin from a WWII veteran he helped take to the 45th Infantry Division Museum and an EMSA badge given to him by a friend he served with in Desert Storm.

For Levi, returning the wallet was really just a chance to thank her rescuer.

"Thank you all for helping me," Levi exclaimed to Cain when they reunited Friday.

"No problem, that's what we do," said Cain back to her.

"To thank somebody that helped me so much, it really made me feel good to see him again," Levi told News 9.

EMSA's Director of Clinical Services, Jim Winham, said he does not ever recall something like this happening in his 32-year career with the agency. Winham said EMSA has a huge lost and found collection, but it is all stuff patients have lost, not paramedics.

Levi said she bought a medical alert device immediately after rehab that she keeps on her in case she ever needs to call for help again.