Stunning Act of Bravery
A fearless and extraordinary act of bravery will land Dr Ricard Bennett with the Badge of Honour for Gallantry come October, for saving the life of a man who was bleeding profusely from a punctured lung at his home in Retreat, St Mary.
Bennett, who was employed at the St Ann's Bay Hospital at the time of the incident, told The Gleaner the thought that his life could be in danger did not cross his mind. His only concern was to save the life of the man who was stabbed and left in a pool of blood at his gate.
"I just came in from off the road and heard the cry, I actually thought that persons were playing, but when I heard the cry a second time, I decided to enquire what was going on. When I got there (the man's gate), he was literally in a pool of blood," he recalled.
"I noticed that he got a big wound to his chest. I did a quick examination and realised that his right chest wasn't moving ... . I wrapped him in a sheet, got him in the car, and while I was there driving with one hand, I had the other hand on the wound ensuring that he didn't bleed too much, in addition to talking to him because he passed out and I wanted him to stay awake," he told The Gleaner.
A drive that would normally have taken 30 minutes from St Mary to the St Ann's Bay Hospital took Bennett 20 minutes. However, he had a major hurdle to cross.
"I had my hazard light on and persons realised that there was an emergency but as I was going through, there came a taxi, which ran in the side of my car."
Realising that if he had stopped to argue with this driver he would not have been able to save the man's life, he left his car in the middle of the road, stopped another taxi and was on his way to the hospital again with the man who was unconscious by this.
Forgot about vehicle
"By the time I got there, he had completely passed out. I didn't even have time to report to the emergency doctors that were there at that time. I had to just push him right past them and did the resuscitation. My other colleagues joined me, and though it took some time, he eventually came around," Bennett said.
While all of this was taking place, Bennett had totally forgotten that his vehicle was left in the middle of the road in Ocho Rios.
"When I remembered my car, it was after he slipped back in, his blood pressure was back to normal, his vitals were ok and he was able to respond. By the time I got back (to the scene of the accident) however, it was at the police station, all I needed to do was give statements," he said with a chuckle.
"Having worked in a hospital for more than eight years, you have no time to be concerned about blood on your car and what could have happened. All that is going through your head is that you need to act," he said.
The doctor added, "I honestly believe that we have to bring back the love among ourselves because I would want to think that if I were in that same predicament, somebody would be willing to assist me and so I use every opportunity to help those whom I can," said Bennett, who is now working in Bermuda.