Bangor nurses and patient credited with saving dog's life

Published: Nov. 2, 2019 at 12:15 AM EDT
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Every day, the staff at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center work to save lives.

Four nurses found themselves doing just that Friday afternoon, but it wasn't a human.

They had to go outside of the building to rescue a dog from the Penobscot River.

Jason Norris, Reilly's Owner, said, "They always stay in the fenced yard. We don't let them out. We were scared. Didn't know what to do. We didn't think we were gonna get them back."

Jason Norris says his two dogs, Reilly, and Lady, got out Friday afternoon after part of his fence blew open on East Summer Street in Bangor.

"I started searching for them. Both of them were walking up the side of the road towards the hospital and I called to him," Jason Norris explained.

Lady came back home, as for Reilly.

"I was sitting at the window getting some sun and I looked at it I see a little tail. Next thing I know, the head went under once. The head went under twice," Leona Dorr, Patient at Northern Light EMMC, said. She added, "So I run out to the front desk and told the girl gosh you got to get security."

"We just were like in a panic. We were like oh my gosh. There's a dog that needs help." added, Peyton Lozier, CNA at NLEMMC.

From there, four nurses jumped into action.

"Right, there first responders right here. The best. They ran down the railroad tracks. I don't know how they got down in there," Dorr explained.

"By the time we got there, we realized he was in the water with his head stuck under a rock. Maybe like 10 minutes maneuvering his head a little bit. He was scared," Kara Calor, RN at NLEMMC added.

Shauna Young, RN, at NLEMMC, said, "Everyone was safe at all times, but we were able to reach down and get the dog."

After this incredible rescue, nurses waited for animal control. An officer, then, reunited Reilly with her family.

Norris explained, "So thankful for the nurse up there that risked her life to go into the freezing river to get my baby out."

'My only thought was I can't lose her. She's my shadow, she's my best friend," Carrie Norris, Reilly's owner, said.

The nurses say teamwork goes far beyond saving Reilly’s life.

"Anyone who needs help or anything that needs help, that's part of what we do. That's why we become RNs," Calor, explained. She added, "I mean, we love animals, and we are not going to watch anything suffer. This is just who we are."

Carrie Norris said, "I know their job is to save humans, but they did. By getting her they helped me so much more than they'll ever know.

"I have deployed three times. I can't remotely thank the lady enough for what she was willing to do to bring my dog back home," Jason Norris explained.

Reilly has a puncture on her chest and some scrapes. They think she may have been cut with a branch.

Jason says he believes he was put in this situation to pay it forward.

The nurses want you to know if you ever find yourself in a situation like this, call someone first for help, like the fire department.