'It's a big honor': Pa. EMS responder is a hero in new Marvel comic book
Krystin Harris was selected for the second collaboration with Marvel Comics to tell the true-life stories of first medical responders from AHN and community EMS services
Kyrstin Harris hardly ever read comics, let alone thought she'd be a part of one.
The 27-year-old, an emergency medical services worker for Emergycare, was selected to be part of Allegheny Health Network's second collaboration with the legendary Marvel Comics to tell the true-life stories of first medical responders from AHN and community EMS services.
Harris was nominated by her friend and colleague Jean Thompson, prehospital business development specialist at AHN Saint Vincent. Thompson nominated Harris because of her great work ethic and personable attitude, she said.
"(Thompson) was like, 'Hey. So, funny thing is: I nominated you for this thing,' and I was like, 'What did you do now?'" Harris said. "She just told me, 'You’re awesome, you’re good at what you do, so I'm gonna nominate you and see what happens.'"
One thing led to another and Harris' real-life endeavors were featured in the comic book, formally called "The Vitals: True EMS Stories."
Marvel Comics tasked Harris to come up with one or two stories that stuck with her over her years as a first responder. The comic is split into three short stories. Harris' real-life experience became the inspiration for the third story in the book, called "Love, Mom."
"There was a mom and she had to deliver a baby in the back of the ambulance. The (umbilical) cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck and we got the baby free and we delivered it," Harris recounts. "Everybody was safe and sound and the baby is healthy to this day."
Likenesses of Harris and several other first medical responders are also featured on the inside of the back cover.
"My family thinks it’s amazing and they always crack jokes like, 'let me get your autograph,' 'you’re gonna be famous one day' and I tell them they’re hilarious, but they’re so proud," Harris said.
The comic was funded by AHN and Highmark Health to highlight the importance of EMS providers, Thompson said. There are only a limited number of physical copies and they will not be for sale locally or online. But Thompson encourages those interested to check out the virtual comic on Marvel's website.
"We (AHN) really value our relationship with EMS, they play a critical role in the emergency medicine system," Thompson said. "They don't always get enough recognition so we want to really highlight that they are heroes in the system that we run."
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