DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — The paramedic who was intentionally hit by a driver in a Walmart parking lot is still recovering at the hospital, with hopes of getting back to work as soon as possible.
Heather Haynes started her job as a paramedic with Davidson County EMS only a couple months ago, after getting her certification back in May. She says, it was a natural calling, she wanted to help people, and eventually work her way to becoming a flight medic.
She tells WFMY News 2 she still plans to accomplish these goals, even after a serious injury, resulting from a driver hitting her, pinning her leg between the medic unit and his car.
Lexington Police say, Nathan Fowler, 36, was driving a Ford Mustang and crashed it into the driver of a Davidson County EMS vehicle as the paramedic was getting out of the ambulance in the parking lot of the Lowes Boulevard Walmart on August 17.
"I just started screaming, and then my partner he came and helped me and called for help," Haynes said.
"I don’t really remember anything after that except for getting in the helicopter."
After six surgeries, doctors gave Haynes the news that they'd have to amputate part of her right leg, below the knee.
"I have been mad, I have been sad, but all in all it gives me a chance to be stronger and show my kids that you don’t let anything knock you down," she said.
"After I heal, I'm going to get a prosthetic, and then I'm going to get back to work."
Haynes says she's been showered with support from friends, family, and co-workers over the last few weeks. She's starting inpatient rehab, which will continue for the next two weeks.
"I wanted to show people that no matter what you go through, you can get through it," Haynes said, "And you just be strong and keep doing it."
Police say, after he hit Haynes, Fowler crashed into a cement barrier on the opposite side and then walked into Walmart. Officers arrested Fowler inside of Walmart without incident.
Fowler was charged with Careless and Reckless Driving, Driving While Impaired, Felony Hit and Run and two counts of Assault With a Deadly Weapon on Emergency Personnel.
He was booked into the Davidson County Detention Center on August 21, a couple of days after was treated at a Lexington hospital, according to detectives.