Duson Police Chief Kip Judice is recovering at home following a weekend health scare that left him unable to speak for a few days.
Saturday, while he and his wife Susan were getting ready for a wedding, the chief started having difficulty breathing.
“When i saw the look on his face and the color of his skin, I could tell we had just gone into another stage of a medical emergency,” said Susan Judice.
Trained as an EMT, Susan says she knew she didn’t have time to wait for an ambulance, so she made the decision to drive her husband to the Our Lady of Lourdes Emergency Room in Scott.
“He couldn’t breathe, there was no air coming in or out,” she said. “The reason why you call an ambulance is so you don’t put yourself and others in danger, that was going through my mind, but I knew time was of the essence.”
Susan said the three-mile drive to the ER felt like an eternity, and she feared the worst when they arrived at the ER.“I watched my husband die in the lobby,” she said. “When you see someone dead, you know they’re dead.”
Inside doctors and nurses got right to work.
“It was a superior team effort,” said Dr. Michael Odinet, who treated Chief Judice at the Scott ER. “We were counting the seconds, not minutes because we knew we didn’t have much time.”
Dr. Odinet says this case showcases the importance of having a stand-alone ER in a rural area of Acadiana, when seconds matter most.
“Him coming here and having this right on the interstate made a significant difference,” said Dr. Odinet.
Once Judice was stabilized, he was transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes’ main campus, where he underwent surgery to have a mass removed from his vocal cords. A biopsy is pending, and Judice is unable to speak for a few days-- but he is able to write, and is expressing his gratitude to ER staff that saved his life.
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