Exclusive: Paramedic surprise guest at graduation party

July 3, 2010 8:27:08 PM PDT
There was an emotional reunion in Brooklyn two decades in the making. A young boy nearly killed by a drunk driver, and the man who not only came to his rescue, but made a life saving decision. That boy's now grown up, and his hero paid him a surprise visit.

It was an anxious walk down Park Avenue in Fort Greene Saturday afternoon.

"What if he doesn't remember me, that's a concern," said Paramedic Rowan Allen, exclusively to Eyewitness News.

Allen, an FDNY paramedic of 22 years was the college graduation surprise for a former patient. But he was more nervous today, than 19 years ago, when he treated a helpless child in the street.

When Bryan Lindsay was only six years old, he was riding his bike, just a few feet from his home, when a drunk driver in a van hit the rear wheel of his BMX bike. It sent him flying in the air, and he hit his head on the curb.

"My frontal lobe got crushed by the impact from the van," said Bryan.

He was to unstable to make it to a trauma center miles away so Allen took Lindsay to Brooklyn Hospital, a decision that saved his life.

"It wasn't just another kid the scooped up out of the streets," said Dorothy Salmon, Lindsay's mother.

When Allen last saw him Bryan, he was in the protective helmet he wore until a metal plate was placed in his head to replace part of his missing skull.

"To see that something I did made it possible?It's wow," adds Allen.

A celebration for Bryan turned into prayers answered for Paramedic Allen.

"Sometimes people don't even say thanks. It gets to you," said Allen.

And not only did he save Bryan's life, he changed Dorothy's.

"I was a banker; I went back to school to become a nurse. And that's because of what they did," she said.

Perhaps this makes up for all of the thank you's Allen never got.