In an endearing story that is likely to be told for generations to come, a 71-year-old woman wound up being the passenger in the very ambulance that she and her husband had donated to a local hospital several months earlier.
Beryl and Doug Good from New Zealand were lucky enough to win an amazing raffle from St. John, a local hospital, and decided to give back to the medical facility by donating a $180,000 ambulance. Though neither of them had ever required the services of an ambulance, they understood their importance in saving lives and felt confident in their donation.
Just 4 months later, in March, Beryl found herself calling for emergency responders after she slipped on her newly-painted front porch and broke one of her arm bones and cut open her chin. At 71 years old, she was unsure if this was her only injury, and she had never broken a bone before.
“I had never been in an ambulance or broken a bone before donating Dobegoo,” laughed Beryl Good.
The ambulance was fondly named Dobegoo by combining the names of the couple that donated it. When she saw the ambulance, which has the name on the side, riding up to her house, she was amazed.
“My husband (86) and I have never needed an ambulance, but we always knew how important they were, especially with how fast our community is growing. It was a joke really when Dobegoo turned up,” she said. “When I got picked up I was surprised it had already done 32,000km.”
That’s nearly 20,000 miles and that was accrued in just 4 months, meaning the ambulance had done some serious work ever since the Good family donated it. There’s no telling how many lives it helped to save, and although Beryl’s condition wasn’t critical, she was extremely grateful for the ability to witness the ambulance in action.
“I was impressed with how the stretcher turned into a chair when we arrived at the hospital and how wonderful the young ladies were treating and driving me,” said Beryl.
Dobegoo is a bit smaller than other ambulances, but with an electronic bed it helps save the backs of emergency responders because they don’t have to lift each patient high onto the bed. The Good family has already been told that their ambulance has done a lot of good, and even heard from one woman who has been rescued by Dobegoo five times in its short life.
“Buying the ambulance has been worth a lot more than the cost, the pleasure we have had from people saying how it has helped them has been really rewarding,” said Beryl.
Though she hopes to never ride in the ambulance again, Dobegoo has certainly changed the lives of many in their community, and the Good family hopes to continue to give back.