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December 01, 2020

Home Nurse, 64, Dies Saving Her 71-Year-Old Paraplegic Patient from Fire — Here's What Happened

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Tragedy has struck as a nurse dies, saving one of her patients. The incident reported on the Louisiana Official State of Fire Marshal was shared on the department’s Facebook page on; here’s what happened below.

A home nurse who was 64 years old died, saving her 71-year-old paraplegic patient from a house fire in Delhi. According to the post, the fire left one person dead while the other was injured.

According to the SFM official Facebook page, SFM deputies continue to investigate the circumstances that led to the fire where a woman died saving her disabled patient.

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On November 23, just before 6 p.m, the Delhi Fire Department responded to a phone call for a house fire with people trapped and located in the 100 block of Macon Drive. Upon the firefighter’s arrival, they discovered two occupants in a bedroom.

The occupants were both pulled out of the house, and CPR was administered. One occupant who was the 71-year-old female paraplegic, the homeowner, was revived and flown to a Mississippi burn unit. The nurse could not be resuscitated.

The heroin nurse was identified as a 64-year-old Gwendolyn Theus. Gwendolyn was a home nurse for the disabled homeowner. Due to the severe damage to the property, the deputies have been unable to access the scene to determine what led to the fire.

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According to Today, Theus succumbed to the smoke fire after carrying her patient out the window. The homeowner reportedly told the investigators that Theus tried several times to wheel her bed out of her room and tried to push her out of a window.

One of the SFM officials, H. "Butch" Browning, reportedly said that Theus' courage of saving her patient's life before her own is commendable and disheartening, to say the least:

"Ms. Theus’ valiant efforts to put her patient’s life before her own are both admirable and heartbreaking. Our prayers are with her loved ones and with the surviving victim for her recovery.”

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Fox News reported that the neighbors and the firefighters saved the patient from the burning house. The patient is expected to make a full recovery.

One of the fire marshals revealed that the house did not have working smoke alarms installed. Hence it went ablaze without notice, leaving Theus and her patient to fight their way out.

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Gwendolyn is one of the many health care workers dying while sparring their patient’s lives. On November 29, WKRN.com reported that a Nashville nurse died after contracting the coronavirus.

Gary Woodward, a critical care nurse at Saint Thomas West, reportedly died last Friday night from the virus. Woodward had served for 25 years as a nurse at the hospital. 

Woodward contracted the coronavirus at the end of October and was hospitalized a week later. The virus caused him to have blood pressure problems and be placed on a ventilator; it also damaged his kidneys.

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Another former nurse died from coronavirus during this month, according to CNN, Iris Meda retired in January but came out of retirement to teach nursing students at a Texas community college.

Sadly, the 70-year-old also succumbed to the virus after her dedication to her profession to pass down more knowledge to students amid the pandemic.

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