Spending time with loved ones during the holidays isn't always an easy thing to do, especially for those physically unable to make a trip on their own.
But thanks to MedStar Mobile Healthcare
, two families were able to spend time with loved ones who wouldn't normally be able to travel home.
An ambulance ride on Thanksgiving usually means something has gone wrong, but for Leroy Jenkins, 32, this trip is all about what's right with the holiday season.
From his nursing home in White Settlement it is just a few miles drive to his Aunt Betty's apartment in Fort Worth, a trip that normally isn't so easy.
"Well, it's really uncomfortable for him in the car, you know, it hurts his legs," Betty Palmieri said. "And it's not safe because you can't buckle him in."
Leroy has Cerebral Palsy
. After moving up from Houston last year to be closer to his aunt and other family members, this is the first holiday he'll get to spend with family outside of the nursing home in some time.
"We were pretty excited about it," Palmieri said.
"Yeah, me too," Jenkins said.
Making the holiday excitement possible, free of charge, were MedStar EMT's Stephen Russell and Stan Clack.
"To be able to do this and bring Leroy home for the holiday is just a really good feeling," Clack said. "We're actually giving back to him and his family."
While it means they're missing time away from their own families, they wouldn't have it any other way.
"I get to help make somebody else's Thanksgiving better," Russell said. "So, it's pretty rewarding."
Clack and Russell say the nature of their jobs mean the only patients they see are in urgent need of care and they spend little time getting to know them. In this case, they were able to meet and talk to Jenkins in a far more positive way and help his family out.
Palmieri spent all night and even part of the morning cooking for Thanksgiving dinner.
"He likes everything but banana pudding is one of his favorites," Palmieri said of her nephew's tastes.
While food is a key ingredient, having Jenkins home is what matters most.
"Being with family, that's what it's all about is being with family," she said.
A task made easier thanks to those who already serve the community every day, the EMTs of MedStar who volunteered to spend the day helping Jenkins and another family enjoy the holidays.