In the summer of 1991, Bryan Lindsay (L) was riding his bike on a Brooklyn street when he was hit by a van and almost killed.
He was 7 years old at the time.
Rowan Allen (R) was the paramedic on the scene, and recently the two men sat down at StoryCorps to remember that day.
Bryan now runs his own business, and Rowan still works with the New York City Fire Department.
Click here for the transcript.
You had a massive dent on your forehead. And I remember your mother asking me in the ambulance, "Is he going to be all right?" And I …I played it down. And I said to her, "Oh it's just a little bump on the head." But to this day when I start thinking about the details, I get choked up.
Now, you wouldn't remember this, but even before you woke up, my partners and I would come to the hospital every chance we got and check in on you. Even after you came out the hospital and you were getting better, we used to come by the house. We would drive by.
Bryan Lindsay (BL): Yeah. I know it was second grade, and it was hard to adjust. Kids would call me helmet head because I would have a helmet on my head. I remember crying to the doctor saying, "I don't want to go to school." [Laughter] He said, "Oh don't worry, you know all the ladies are going to love your helmet." But it was the complete opposite. It was torture for those years.
RA: I had no contact with you guys for a very long time. But one day we brought a patient into the hospital, and I heard this lady's voice. I didn't see her—I just heard the voice, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. And so I backed up, and I looked into the room, and there was this little short nurse with her back to me. And it was your mother. And she saw me. She ran and the two of us in the middle of the emergency room, we were hugging up real tight. And she's crying, and I'm bawling.
And she said, "Bryan's going to be graduating, and I want you to come as a surprise." And when I showed up that day at your door, and I rang the bell, did she tell you to open the door?
BL: Yeah, she told me to open the door.
RA: She set you up. [Laughter]
BA: She set me up good.
You know, just to be here with you is more than I could ever ask. And it's a privilege to be around you. I really sincerely thank you.
RA: I appreciate that Bryan. I mean, to develop this kind of a relationship and this kind of bond—I can't put it into words. But this is what makes me do what I do. I feel so good.