January 27, 2021


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Nurse dies while saving paraplegic patient from house fire in Louisiana | News

A home nurse died from smoke inhalation while trying to save her paraplegic patient from a house fire in Delhi, Louisiana, according to officials.

Firefighters were called out to a house fire just before 6 p.m. Monday in the 100 block of Macon Drive., according to a Wednesday release from the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal.

They discovered the nurse and her 71-year-old patient in the bedroom.

Both were pulled from the burning home and given CPR. The female patient was revived and flown to a burn unit in Mississippi. Officials said the patient is expected to survive. 

The home nurse, identified as 64-year-old Gwendolyn Theus, could not be revived and died at the scene, the fire marshal said. 

Investigators said Theus had come into her patient’s bedroom to alert her of the house fire. Theus tried several times to wheel the patient’s bed out of the room.

When that didn’t work, Theus pulled her patient from her bed and tried pushing her out of the window before Theus succumbed to the smoke.

The Fire Marshal said neighbors also made attempts to get the patient out of the window before firefighters arrived.

“Ms. Theus’ valiant efforts to put her patient’s life before her own are both admirable and heartbreaking,” State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said in a statement. “Our prayers are with her loved ones and with the surviving victim for her recovery and loss of her dedicated nurse and friend.”

Officials are investigating the cause of the house fire. 

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