People often ask me: “What was the worst thing you ever saw on the ambulance?”

I think they are expecting some gruesome story about a decapitation or something. I’ve seen dead kids, people shot in the head, chest, and legs, burns, and stab wounds to the heart. I’ve seen strokes, heart attacks, cardiac arrests, overdoses and a multitude of illnesses and injuries, but nothing stands out in my mind more than the piano man.

I was working the 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. shift with a paramedic named Brett. He was a damn good medic and the two of us always had fun working together. We ran our calls and tried out new restaurants in the city, watched goofy T.V. shows and just generally had a good time. I genuinely liked working with Brett.

It was sometime after midnight, we were posted downtown, near the university, when the radio crackled.