Nurse dies saving her paraplegic patient from a house fire
DELHI, LA - A 64-year-old home nurse died saving her paraplegic patient from a house fire before firefighters arrived Monday, Delhi officials report.
Gwendolyn Theus pulled her 71-year-old patient out of her bed and tried to push her out of a window to save her from the fire, but was overwhelmed by the smoke.
Before members of the Delhi Fire Department arrived on the scene, neighbors also came to the patient's rescue. They tried to maneuver the patient's bed out of the bedroom before pulling her out of bed, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office said in a release.
“Ms. Theus’ valiant efforts to put her patient’s life before her own are both admirable and heartbreaking,” State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said. “Our prayers are with her loved ones and with the surviving victim for her recovery and loss of her dedicated nurse and friend.”
Firefighters arrived just before 6 p.m. and eventually pulled both women out of the bedroom in an attempt to save their lives. The patient was airlifted to a burn unit in Mississippi and officials say she is expected to recover.
Officials say Theus alerted the disabled patient of the fire and attempted to wheel her bed out of the bedroom, but as she tried to lift her patient and push her out of the window, she succumbed to the smoke.
The home did not have working smoke alarms.
This is an ongoing investigation.