My first DOA was a dude who hung himself outside of his bedroom window. That had been my fire house's third suicide that week and it's second hanging. Dispatch told us it was a cardiac arrest, but we were all moving so quickly that I didn't have time to look at the paper to see that it was a suicide. So we get there and the paramedic yells back to me not to bother with the stretcher. Just grab all the shit and run. (Paramedics are ALS units, which stands for advanced life support. It also stands for Ain't Lifting Shit) I look outside and see that the firefighters are pulling out ladders and stuff. I'm wondering if the guy had a heart attack on his roof or something, and then I look up. There he was. Hanging there in a tshirt and sweatpants. We cut him down and start CPR, knowing full well that it probably isn't going to work. As I'm doing compressions, I read his shirt which says "[xx] high school senior week!!" with pictures of happy kids on the beach and shit like that. That almost got too real for me. You can be pretty disconnected when you need to focus on what you need to do. However, it's those little details you notice that remind you that this is (or was) a real living person with hopes, dreams, and desires.
This one isn't as exciting, just sad. There was a woman who was complaining of a vague pain in her forehead. We get there and do our general assessment. She looks about 50 years old, but I notice track marks on her arms. General rule of thumb, if you see track marks, guess how old they look and subtract by 20 and that's closer to how old they actually are. Sure enough, she was in her early thirties. She kept on insisting that the paramedic give her something for her pain, but he wasn't budging. When she saw that her complaint didn't work, she would then say something else her. So it started with, "Ow my head hurts so much!" to, "Ouch my stomach!" to, "Oh no my leg is in so much pain!" Once she saw that none of this was working on the paramedic, she starts looking at me to give her something. I wanted to be like, "Bitch, I can only give you Tylenol. Don't ask me for painkillers," but that would be unprofessional.
Anyway, as I do the patient assessment, I discover she has hep B and C and her liver was failing. Apparently she had been clean for 9 years, because that's when she had a kid. That means all of these diseases and shit were caused by her partying back when she was around 22. I knew she wasn't going to live to see 40. She wasn't going to see her kid graduate high school, all because of dumbass decisions she made when she was barely an adult. So when I see people my age (23) doing dumbass things at parties and stuff, I think about that woman. Meeting her is something I'm going to take with me for a while. Hell, her memory in my head might very well outlive her.
Another DOA where a man died in hit computer chair in his basement. I could imagine worse ways to go. He was old, and it seemed pretty peaceful. The depressing part was his wife and all of his dogs. He had three and they were all really upset. The woman was just in absolute shock of it all. I can't imagine what it might have been for her at that moment. Once we were done there, we went to dunkin donuts. I had the chocolate cake donut.