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Tribute a tonic for Warwick ambo

Deanna Schmidt thanks Merv Gray, the ambulance officer who saved her life.
Deanna Schmidt thanks Merv Gray, the ambulance officer who saved her life. Ella Archibald-Binge

MERV Bray walked out to collect the mail one day to find a letter thanking him for 21 extra years of life.

The letter was from the family of Deanna Schmidt, who, in 1991, collapsed in the main street of Warwick due to an undetected brain tumour.

Mr Bray was the ambulance officer on the scene and, without his help, Deanna might not be alive today.

Mrs Schmidt finds it difficult to recall what happened all those years ago.

"I've only got flashbacks of that day," she said.

But although her memory is hazy, she is ever-thankful for Mr Bray's actions.

On the 21st anniversary of the incident, Mrs Schmidt's sibling Tara Behrmann penned a moving letter to thank the paramedic who helped save her sister's life.

"That letter means the world to me. It really does," Mr Bray said. "I carry a scrapbook with clippings of everything that appears in the papers ...The original of that letter is in there already.

"That'll be handed down to my kids and to my grandkids so they know what Poppy does."

Such recognition is rare for Mr Bray, who has been an ambulance officer in Warwick for nearly three decades.

"To receive something like this makes it all really worthwhile," he said.

Ms Behrmann said she wrote the letter to simply say thanks. "I just wanted to say thank you and invite them to celebrate Deanna's life," she said.

Deanna, now in her thirties, is happily married and volunteers as a teacher aide at Killarney State School.

The recognition for Mr Bray coincides with the Queensland Ambulance Service's 21st anniversary as a statewide service.

Topics:  paramedics, queensland ambulance service


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