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Brittany Silva

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03/01/2016

Some folks just have a knack for finding silver linings. For Paul Kang, one of those people is Brittney Silva. “By nature, bad things can happen in life. What Brittney helps to do is take those bad events and turn them into something incredibly positive” says Paul Kang, EMT with San Francisco AMR. In April of 2016, Paul’s NICU unit was involved in a high-speed catastrophic collision. He sustained significant injuries involving his skull, jaw, ribs, spleen, hand, knee, calf and femur. Paul says he and his colleagues are lucky to have survived.

When AMR Paramedic Brittney Silva and Paul’s other San Francisco colleagues heard about the accident, they looked online to learn more and came across a news article with a horrifying image of the crushed ambulance. Brittney describes “feeling shell-shocked and driving tenderly all day.” She remembers thinking that this could happen to anyone at any time and that having it happen within her EMT family really shifted her perspective.

When Paul’s colleagues visited him in the hospital, they expected to find the old Paul “cracking jokes and saying, ‘Oh, it’s no big deal.’” However, Brittney recalls, “that was not the Paul that was lying in that bed.” Brittney didn’t even hesitate. She immediately started a crowd-sourced fundraising page to generate support for Paul. She says that the buzz had already started through social media among the greater EMS family and “everybody was a piece of putting together support for Paul.” Throughout his rehabilitation and healing, Brittney has continued to reach out and check on Paul. He says she offers words of encouragement and that she managed to make this effort on top of her regular duties as a full-time paramedic.

Paul’s resilience and positivity is striking, especially considering his harrowing experience. He plans to return to work as an EMT. He says, “It is important to go back, to prove to myself and everybody else that I can be triumphant. So many people wished me well, I almost owe it to them to say, ‘Look what your love and support has done.’” At a welcome home party his EMS family threw for him, Paul recalls that they all spoke candidly about their experiences in similar types of accidents, about what happens afterward, and about how people recuperate from long-term situations. Paul feels that “what was a tragic event became a unifying occasion. And Brittney was an element. She was the catalyst.”
 
Left to Right: Jenna Warman, Paul Kang and Brittney Silva