An Ahwatukee Foothills woman seriously injured in a car accident earlier this year recently received a ride and a helping hand from Southwest Ambulance.
Terri Fifer, a longtime resident, was involved in a car accident on Highway 93 in October that left her with multiple injuries, which included a broken nose, ribs, arm, a punctured lung, injured tendon and a fractured sacrum.
Due to Fifer's extensive injuries, she was required to move to Desert Cove Nursing Center to continue her care after she was released from the hospital. Fifer said she was put on bed rest until her sacrum has healed because it could cause paralysis if moved wrong.
"It's a long process," she said.
In late November Fifer's son, Jessie, received his black belt in Wado-Ryu Karate and at the point when Fifer entered Desert Cove it seemed almost impossible for her to be able to go to the ceremony.
A few parents at Mountainside Martial Arts Center, where Jessie trains, worked together and purchased groceries and other things for the family, which did not include being able to pay for transportation for Fifer to attend Jessie's ceremony.
Tom Boyle, a parent, was told by a friend about the Southwest Ambulance's Home for the Holidays Program that provides transportation to patients who otherwise would not be able to go home for the holidays. Boyle contacted Southwest Ambulance and Fifer was ultimately chosen to receive their services, which included travel via an ambulance to the location of the ceremony and full-time care from the ambulance crew.
Fifer said what Southwest Ambulance did for her was a kind gesture, and proof to her that people still do kind things for one another.
"Southwest Ambulance, they're my new hero," Fifer said.
On Nov. 23, Fifer was able to see her son receive his black belt, something he has been working toward for the past seven years, and a site Fifer said was crucial that she see.
"It was a miracle," she said.
Fifer still has a long recovery ahead of her, but she says that she is looking forward to going home and is taking each step "little by little."
To learn more about Southwest Ambulance and their Home for the Holidays program, visit www.swambulance.com.
To learn more about Mountainside Martial Arts Center, visit www.mmacaz.net.
Chelsea Brown is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.