September 14, 2015
What began as a routine day at work for welder Troy Mitchell in 2012 turned into a life-altering event.
“I was climbing up a ladder to work on a piece of metal when I suddenly felt the ladder move,” Mitchell, 63, said. “As I tried to catch my balance, the ladder gave under me, and I fell backward with the metal bar landing on my legs.
With severe injuries to his lower body, Mitchell began losing massive amounts of blood but never lost consciousness. “I knew I was hurt, but I had no idea just how bad,” he said.
Operations Supervisor Nick Tourney and Paramedic Malcolm Ribarin, arrived on the scene to see coworkers lifting the heavy object off Mitchell.
“I’d never seen anything like it,” Ribarin said. “The skin on Mr. Mitchell’s legs had been completely ripped off. It looked like something straight out of a horror movie.”
Tourney and Ribarin knew they had to transport Mitchell from New Iberia to Lafayette for immediate trauma care. “Lafayette General’s trauma unit was the place he needed to go, and with the amount of blood loss and exposed tissue he had, we needed to get him there fast,” Tourney said.
Upon arrival, doctors told Mitchell they would not be able to save his legs. “I don’t truly believe in out-of-body experiences, but it seemed like I was standing next to one of the doctors when they told me they would have to amputate my legs,” Mitchell said. “How do you live without legs? How was I going to be able to work, let alone walk again?”
After multiple surgeries, prosthetics, and years of rehabilitation, Mitchell has a new lease on life. “This is my new normal,” he said. “I have two legs. They may not be the ones I was born with, but they are mine, and I grateful for them. You can either reject change or embrace it. I chose to embrace it.”
He can still be found doing what he loves: fixing objects that are broken.
“He’s a warrior,” Tourney said. “For someone with the extent of his injuries to be so calm, where many would panic, was nothing short of remarkable. He is an inspiration to me and many of our crew members who have had the pleasure of meeting him.”
Mitchell said, “I feel like God placed Nick and Malcolm on the first link in the chain of saving my life. These gentlemen will forever hold a very special place in my heart.”
To view a video of the reunion, please click here.
Since 1971, Acadian has been committed to providing the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation possible. In the past decade the company has expanded to include a diverse suite of services designed to offer the very best support and education in health, safety, and transportation. Acadian’s six divisions are Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Total Security, Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, National EMS Academy and Safety Management Systems.