A home nurse in Louisiana is being hailed as a hero after she died saving her paraplegic patient in a house fire this week, authorities said.
Gwendolyn Theus, 64, alerted her patient to a fire in her Delhi home around 6 p.m. Monday, according to a statement on the Louisiana Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Facebook page on Wednesday.
The 71-year-old homeowner told authorities that Theus made multiple attempts to wheel her bed out of her bedroom before she pulled her out of the bed and tried to push her out the window, according to the statement.
Neighbors attempted rescue efforts from the bedroom window before firefighters arrived, the statement said. Authorities pulled the two women from the home and administered CPR but only the homeowner was revived. She was flown to a burn unit in Mississippi.
“Ms. Theus’ valiant efforts to put her patient’s life before her own are both admirable and heartbreaking,” State Fire Marshal H. Browning said in the statement. “Our prayers are with her loved ones and with the surviving victim for her recovery and loss of her dedicated nurse and friend.”
Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire. The home did not have working smoke alarms.