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How about a feel-good story with an amazing ending?

On Christmas morning, 2021, Captain Sidney Anderson, Operator Reggie Howard, and Paramedic Michael Holland were preparing for their shift as they do on any given day. That morning shifted into a different gear when they were greeted by a family who was having a terrible day. Ten year-old McKenzie was having a medical emergency and at the time it was thought that she might be having a massive stroke. She had right arm weakness, right-sided facial droop, and the loss of the ability to understand simple commands and she was unable to speak properly. McKenzie was transported to St. Tammany Parish Hospital where she would later be diagnosed with having a seizure. Because of the sudden onset of these symptoms, she was given a CT scan of her brain which showed something no one expected. Doctors found a very rare birth defect on her brain that is called Schizencephaly.

After care from her doctors, McKenzie’s family is happy to report that she has no lasting side effects and is living her life to the fullest. Today, McKenzie stopped by our station to visit with our personnel who helped her that day. Rarely, do we get any follow-up information from people we encounter but we are very happy to hear that McKenzie is doing so well. McKenzie is now 11 years old and when we write that she’s living her life to the fullest, that is no understatement. She is into barrel racing and in fact, she will be showing off her skills coming up on October 21st at the Washington Parish Fair Rodeo. If you plan on attending, be sure to show her your support.

Good luck on your bright future McKenzie, we are very happy you are doing so well. We know you will do great at the rodeo!

Pictured from left to right, Operator Reggie Howard, McKenzie, and Paramedic Michael Holland. Captain Sidney Anderson is not present in the photograph.

We were granted permission by McKenzie’s parents to share this post and the information contained within.

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