Firefighter who lost leg on interstate credits colleagues with saving his life
"This family, this crew, these team members ... if it hadn't been for them, I wouldn't be here right now," Sgt. Darrow Harden said
By Shaddi Abusaid
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ATLANTA — An Atlanta firefighter who lost his leg after getting struck by a vehicle while responding to a call on I-85 said he wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the quick-thinking actions of his colleagues.
Sgt. Darrow Harden was hit by a car in May while responding to a wreck near Cleveland Avenue in the interstate’s northbound lanes.
“It was Mother’s Day morning,” Harden said Friday in an interview with Channel 2 Action News. “I got up, went to work. I think the call came in about 7:20 or 7:30, so that was the first call of the day.”
The 47-year-old had just stepped off his fire truck to help a motorist who flipped over when the driver of a 2009 Pontiac G5 lost control, striking Harden and the fire truck.
“I remember waking up on scene screaming and not being able to move my legs,” he said.
Harden lost his left leg as a result of the crash and nearly lost the other one, too.
But the veteran firefighter said he would have died that morning if it weren’t for his colleagues at Station 2.
“They’re fantastic,” Harden said. “This family, this crew, these team members — If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
Harden blacked out on his way to the hospital, but not before instructing his team members to call his wife of 26 years and let her know what happened.
Despite the pain, the Atlanta fire sergeant was able to recall his wife’s phone number and repeat it several times in the back of the ambulance so paramedics could call her.
As for his recovery, Harden said the last few months haven’t exactly been easy for him, but he seems to be in good spirits as he continues his physical therapy.
“It’s long, it’s painful and it’s frustrating,” he said. “It’s recovery.”
A GoFundMe page created to raise money for the the injured firefighter’s recovery collected $10,000 in its first day. To date, more than $25,000 has been raised for the father of three.
©2019 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)