Daughter inspired to change career path after EMS call saves her mother’s life

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BISMARCK, N.D. - National EMS week recognizes front line workers who aid strangers in a time of need. However some calls hit close to home.

On Dec. 11, 2019 Cyndi Smith was spending time with family when she began showing stroke-like symptoms and was taken to a clinic.

Within minutes, she was in the back of an ambulance being treated for Transient Ischemic Attack, also known as mini strokes.

It was that day Metro paramedics saved her life, and encouraged her daughter Ashley to become a frontline worker.

This is Cyndi's second time in the back of an ambulance. This time, it’s to meet Ciara Paulsen, again.

"I instantly recognized her face, but I had saw her through the lenses of laying on a bed, with her working over top of me," said Cyndi.

In December, Ciara was one of the paramedics that rushed Cyndi to the hospital.

"It was rewarding to see just how well she came out of her prognosis and reintroducing myself," said Paulsen, a paramedic for Metro.

At the time of the emergency, Cyndi's daughter worked in the business office for Metro EMS.

A crew member informed her of her mother’s condition.

"She heard the call going out, and I said you've got to keep me updated, what's going on? And she could only give me little information at the time, but I knew she was in good hand," said Ashley Smith, Cyndi’s daughter.

After the incident, Ashley reconsidered her career path.

"The whole incident with my mother and working at Metro, made me miss working in public safety," said Ashely.

Now, she's a dispatcher for North Dakota State Radio.

"I haven’t really kept in contact with Ashley, but I do hear her ever once in a while over the radio and it’s nice to have a familiar voice to hear," said Paulsen.

In light of the incident, Ashley says her and her mother have gotten closer.

"We have those days together because you have to value that time together. You just never know when it’s going to be the last day,” said Ashley.