Waco: Paramedics stop to mow lawn for woman, 98

(Photo courtesy of Dashlin James)
(Photo courtesy of Dashlin James)(KWTX)
Published: Jun. 28, 2017 at 4:33 PM CDT
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An East Texas Medical Center ambulance crew stopped to help Wednesday after spotting a 98-year-old woman mowing her lawn in the June heat.

One ETMC paramedic and two EMTs were between calls Wednesday when they spotted Margaret Durham in the 3600 block of Windsor Avenue.

She appeared to be overheated, an ETMC spokesman said, so the ambulance turned around and headed back to the house, and the crew finished the mowing job.

"She's elderly and looked exhausted," said paramedic Kent Haney. "She was on a dangerous slope of the yard, possibly could fall and lose control of the lawn mower and injure herself."

"Ya know, the need for us to intervene was there so great, we thought 'hey we need to intervene'."

EMT Matt Linda, Haney's six-year ambulance partner, said she thanked them with a hug.

"She said that we were angels sent from heaven," said Linda.

It was an easy decision said Linda, who confessed, they'd done similar acts before; they'd helped a family stranded with a flat tire just last month.

"Our job is here for us to help people and that's, that's what we like doin', that's why we're called to do what we do," said Linda.

Another EMT currently training to be a paramedic at MCC, Deannna Covic, was also there to help the 98-year-old.

Durham’s daughter-in-law, Pam Durham of Keller, said her mother-in-law was surprised they stopped to help.

“She told them that ‘they must be from heaven,’” she said.

“When my husband related the story to me, I just couldn’t help but tear up,” she said.

“We hear lots of sad and bad things on the news, but such a nice, random act of kindness is so awesome to hear.”

Dashlin James, Durham's neighbor who snapped a photo of the crew at work, said he “wanted to show that while they do save lives, they also lend a helping hand.”

“Definitely an act of kindness!” he said. "I thought it was a very great gesture of them, I mean, when they're not saving lives, they're out helping the community, it's greatly appreciated and I'm sure she appreciates it as well."

He said he was outside with a friend working on his car when they saw the ambulance drive around twice Wednesday morning.

"They stopped in front of Ms. Durham's house and I was kinda worried, I was like 'well what's going on here,' and then they finally jumped out, got the lawn mower from her, was mowing the lawn, and it obviously put a smile on my face," said James.

James has lived near Durham for 15 years, and says she always cuts her own grass and is very independent.

Kent and Linda agreed, saying although Durham let them help, she refused to let them put the 22-inch push mower away for her.

They said now that they know she lives there, they plan to drive by and check on her from now on.