Woman studies under medic who saved her life as a teenager

After a suicide attempt in 2005, doctors said Brittney Sims may have decreased brain function; instead, she’s studying to be a paramedic from the first responder on the scene that day


By Rachel Engel

ABILENE, Texas — A Texas woman who attempted to take her own life years ago is now earning her paramedic certification from the man who was the first to arrive at her home when she was unresponsive.

Brittney Sims, now 32, was 16 years old when she attempted to commit suicide in 2005. First responders were called to her home, and Paramedic Ronnie Pitts, an instructor for Texas State Technical College’s (TSTC) paramedic program, was the first on the scene.  

Sims survived the attempt, and, despite doctors predicting she would not have normal brain function, went on to earn her EMT certification from TSTC.

“I knew I could do more with my life, and I knew that I wanted to help people the way that Ronnie helped me,” she said in an interview with the Brownwood Bulletin.

Sims was working at an orthodontics office when she made the decision to leave and seek her paramedic certification at TSTC, with Pitts as her instructor. The paramedic did not remember Sims from their encounter, until she sent an email reminding him.

“Out of the blue, I received her email, and it hit me,” Pitts said. “Many times as EMTs and paramedics, we wonder what happens to our patients after we drop them off. It is only normal. I am able to see what became of her and I know she will be a successful paramedic.”

Sims currently works as an EMT for both MetroCare and Scurry County EMS and is glad she made the choice to follow her calling.

“[Pitts] was thrilled I made the decision to come back to school,” she said. “I was glad I could show him that the outcome of his call to my house turned out for the best.”

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