HENDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Paramedics are tasked with saving lives, and staff at the Henderson County UT Health EMS are going above and beyond to help change the lives of their patients in other ways.

Crew members and Brian Sites, the Mobile Integrated Health Coordinator, found out that an East Texas man had been eating spoiled food because his refrigerator stopped working, UT Health EMS said. The man was also receiving help from Meals on Wheels, but he had nowhere to store his food.

Sites located a refrigerator at Habitat for Humanity and UT Health raised funds to purchase this item. EMS gifted the refrigerator to the patient on Monday and took him groceries. Sites also provided medical care for the man.

“The patient was very thankful and appreciative of all those who donated their time, money and thoughts to make him more comfortable during this holiday season,” said Jack Vance, UT Health EMS Supervisor.

UT Health EMS also donated to the Athens Crisis Center’s Angel Tree. This organization assists families after abusive marriages, loss of jobs, fires and other issues.

The Crisis Center asked if UT Health could provide them with gift cards because people gave them food, clothes and toys as donations throughout the year. The group was hoping parents could use the gift cards to buy presents for their children and have a regular Christmas.

With UT Health’s donations, they were able to help eight families.

“I am proud to work with such generous and thoughtful human beings. It would be very easy to look past the non-medical needs of some of our patients, but that is not the culture at UT Health EMS,” Vance said.