Not all angels have haloes. Some wear badges instead.
Life-saving medals and formal letters of commendation were presented to two officers with the Clarinda Police Department Dec. 9 during a meeting of the Clarinda City Council. Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers said officers Trevor Mays and Keith Neal were being recognized for taking immediate action that contributed to saving the life of a Clarinda man.
At 11:23 p.m. Nov. 3, the two officers responded to a medical emergency at 817 N. 22nd St. in Clarinda and discovered Marty Hagewood was in cardiac arrest. Hagewood was transported to Clarinda Regional Health Center and then flown to Bryn Health Center in Lincoln, Neb.
Although the initial prognosis was grim, Hagewood survived the incident. Hagewood was on hand at the meeting to thank the two officers for their quick actions and present them with their medals and citations.
“Every once in a while, one time in life something happens that changes your life forever. I grew up in Clarinda my whole life and I never knew we had heroes in Clarinda. We do. We have heroes and we have saints. You have two of them right over here,” Hagewood said.
Hagewood explained his heart stopped and he fell between his bed and nightstand. His wife attempted to move him, but was unsuccessful. However, Mays and Neal quickly arrived on scene and initiated CPR.
“Low and behold, before anybody could get there, these two guys come in, get me out, start pumping life back into my body and get enough done that they fly me to Lincoln,” Hagewood said.
The incident happened on a Tuesday night, but the doctor caring for Hagewood told his wife it was unlikely he would live until the weekend. If he did somehow survive, the doctor said he would likely suffer from brain damage and be in a vegetative state.
Instead, Hagewood did survive and was able to return home to his family and resume his life.
“They all agreed it’s a miracle. They said, ‘you’ve got somebody looking over you.’ They told me directly I should not be here,” Hagewood said.
Hagewood then turned to the officers and said words were not enough to express his appreciation for what they did. He vowed he would never forget their actions that night.
“They expect you to take care of the violators and all the bad guys and all those things. But this was above and beyond. I would hope and pray your families, and if you have kids, your kids understand, realize and appreciate what they have because what they have is absolutely the ultimate. You are the best. I will never forget you,” Hagewood said.
As a result of what happened that fateful night, Hagewood said has never been more proud of being a citizen of Clarinda and being associated with a police force that has officers the caliber of Mays and Neal. He said they provided him the greatest gift anyone could -- an opportunity to spend more time with his family.
“It’s a human being helping a human being. Not a police officer helping me. This goes much deeper than that because by all rights I would not be here. My wife would be having a Christmas without me. My nine grandkids would be having a Christmas without me. All my kids would have a Christmas without me. But because of what these two did, singlehandedly did, they made all of my dreams come true,” Hagewood said. “I wanted to see my grandkids. I wanted to see my kids. They made it possible. ... You gave me my family and that’s all I have.”
Brothers then showed the medals being presented to Mays and Neal and read the letters of commendation issued to each officer.
“Those are two solid men right there,” Brothers said after the ceremony.
“I want to say how very proud I am of our police department. We have a top notch group of officers. I’m so proud of them and all their training,” Clarinda mayor Lisa Hull said.