Skip to main content

Inspira EMTs don’t just save lives - sometimes they save the day

Sep 7, 2023

Eight-year-old boy says “big buddies” from Inspira made his birthday celebration very special


Karson is only eight years old, but he has spent more time with doctors, in ambulances, and inside hospital walls than most adults will in a lifetime. Karson’s mother, Amber Hudson, says doctors describe Karson as “medically complex.” He has been diagnosed with autism and epilepsy, conditions that can bring challenges every day and cause him to have frequent seizures, some of which require emergency intervention.

In a relatively short time, two Inspira emergency medical technicians (EMTs) on Karson’s care team, Brittany Conrad and Brian Cassidy, have also become much more to him, his dad, Freddy, and his five siblings.

“Brit and Brian responded to our house during Karson’s first seizure in 2021,” Amber said. “Right from the beginning they helped keep us calm. They made us feel comfortable that he was being taken care of so that we could breathe. Though we had just met them, it was almost like talking with family.”

That relationship has strengthened in the years since. Brittany and Brian often work shifts together and have responded to the family’s Cape May home 10 to 15 times, according to Amber. She said that they are always positive, professional and friendly, which helps keep the other children in the family calm as well.

But on May 20th, Brittany and Brian showed up for Karson in a way that made them “first responders” of a very different kind.

A birthday party had been planned for Karson, with plenty of family and a few school friends invited.

“It was a taco party, complete with a bounce house in the yard,” Amber said.

Unfortunately, rain forced the cancellation of the outdoor festivities at the last minute. Amber and Freddy moved the party to her sister’s house, where there was more room indoors, but the weather and other factors prevented Karson’s classmates from attending.

Brittany had heard about the party because her son, Alex, and Karson play on the same soccer team.

“Brittany called and I told her that Karson was happy that his cousins were with him but sad about the bounce house and his classmates not making it. She said that she and Brian were working together and were going to swing by the house to see Karson,” Amber said. “She told me not to tell him.”

“When Brittany and Brian showed up, Karson’s smile was amazing,” Amber said. “It was ear to ear! He said, ‘It’s my EMT buddies, Mr. Brian and Miss Brit!’ He hugged them and thanked them for coming.”

Karson with Inspira EMS

The longtime EMT partners sang “Happy Birthday” with the family and gave Karson a soccer ball.

“Along with some colored pencils and a drawing pad from a family member, it was all he talked about for the rest of the night,” Amber said. “It was the best day ever.”

Brian and Brittany have also taken steps to ensure that Karson has a positive experience even when they are not the EMTs responding. Knowing that familiarity and routine can be particularly important for children with autism, Brittany and Brian asked Amber and Freddy if they could share information about Karson with their fellow Inspira EMTs. They agreed.

Amber said, “Now when other Inspira EMT’s respond, they always tell Karson that they are friends with Brit and Brian. They tell him what they need to do, so he is more comfortable. It helps tremendously.”

Amber considers Brittany and Brian more than professional caregivers.

“After the party, Karson said that his whole family made him feel so loved. He said that family are ‘people that care about you and check on you’ so Miss Brit and Mr. Brian are like family too.”

That relationship, Amber said, became even more important over Memorial Day weekend, when Karson had a seizure that lasted 32 minutes. Although Brian and Brittany were not on duty that day, the Inspira EMTs who responded were able to quickly get the paramedics up to speed on Karson’s history, including how his seizures usually presented. The paramedics cared for him on the scene, and he was transported to the hospital for what would become a five-day stay.

Afterward, back at school, one of Karson’s teachers told Amber that Karson said his “angels work at the ambulance place because every time he needs them, they show up and save him.”

Amber said that Brittany and Brian do so much more for her son than their job requires. “They’ve always gone above and beyond when it comes to my kids. If Karson’s in the hospital and they are there, they stick their heads in to say, ‘Hi’.  They always tells us ‘We got him.’  I feel like with them he’s in the best hands possible.”

Topics: Patient Stories