Welcome, Andrea Jo! Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m happily married and the mother of teenage twins as well as two “fur babies” (Dachshund and Shih Tzu rescues). I love working part-time as a physical therapist in a hospital-based rehabilitation center. I’ve been a volunteer emergency medical technician for over thirty years and have answered over 8,200 first aid and fire calls. Currently, I’m the Lieutenant, training officer, and a trustee. I recently finished creating a state-approved continuing education course for physical and occupational therapists about how to handle medical emergencies in the workplace, and I’m looking forward to teaching it this month.
Briefly describe your book to us: Help from Heaven: True Stories of Rescues, Miracles, and Answered Prayers from a First Responder are inspirational true stories based on my experiences as a volunteer with my local first aid and rescue squad. Although the book stands alone, it is the third in a series including At Heaven’s Edge and On Heaven’s Doorstep. The stories are from my early years on the squad, from my school years when I worked summers as a beach cop through my first years as a physical therapist. Some of the stories are what I would consider to be miracles, some are sad yet faith-filled, and a few humorous.
What is the inspiration behind your story? Several years back, my son and I were in a life-threatening elevator accident. That event made me step back and take a close look at my life. I thought about my relationships with God, my family, and my friends. I also thought about my goals and my dreams. One of my lifelong dreams was to publish a book. Ultimately, something good came out of the accident because it inspired me to start writing my first book, At Heaven’s Edge. I’ve been writing ever since. There were too many stories to fit in that first book, so I kept going.
What was the catalyst for your interest in writing? ? I’ve always loved writing. In fact, I wrote my first “book” when I was in the first grade. It was about how my Mom and brother rescued a baby duck from our town’s lake. I suppose you could say that writing about rescues has been in my blood from a young age.
Do you have a day job? If so, how do you find time in your day to write? When I’m not writing, I work part-time as a physical therapist. I specialize in women’s health, urinary incontinence, lymphedema, osteoporosis, ALS, and orthopedics. I also volunteer as an emergency medical technician with my local first aid and rescue squad. I’m currently the Lieutenant and answer about 300 first aid calls per year. It’s challenging to find time to write, to say the least. I write a few minutes here and there so I always make sure to have a pen and paper with me in case I have any downtime. I’ve written in doctors’ offices, airports, and even at sporting events.
What book do you wish you would have written? I’m a hopeless romantic and a big Jane Austen fan. So, at this point, you can probably guess that I wish I had written Pride and Prejudice.
What does your family think of your writing? I am fortunate that my family supports my writing. They’ve read all my books and provide good feedback. My husband helps with my website and tech support.
Here’s a short excerpt from Andrea Jo’s book:
Okay, Mr. Woodward, you’re halfway there. Your heart is beating again, but you need to breathe. I squeezed the bag valve mask, willing Mr. Woodward to start breathing on his own. I watched with hope as the cyanosis on his face gradually faded, replaced with a nice pink color. “Mr. Woodward, your wife really loves you and needs you. I want you to take a breath for me.” Because he was unconscious, I knew the odds were that he couldn’t hear me. However, I hoped some part of him would understand my plea.
For a few long, painful seconds, there was absolutely no response from Mr. Woodward. Then miraculously, he suddenly drew in a life-saving breath. A deep, wonderful, all-on-his-own breath.
Arthur felt the artery near Mr. Woodward’s wrist. “I have a good radial pulse now too.” Next, he adjusted the intravenous flow. “Hang in there, Lou. We’re on our way to the hospital.”
The blanket over Mr. Woodward began to move. He was wiggling his feet! As I pushed the blanket out of the way to take a closer look, he reached for his face with his right hand.
“Sorry, Lou. That tube has to stay in,” Kennisha said.
Meg gently stroked the top of Mr. Woodward’s head. “Mr. Woodward, can you open your eyes for us?”
After a ten-second delay, just as we were pulling into the emergency room parking lot, his eyes popped open. Puzzled, he looked around the ambulance to try to figure out where he was.
“Everything’s going to be okay. We’re taking you to the hospital,” Kennisha reassured him.
In my heart, I knew her words were true. Everything’s going to be okay.
Here’s the back cover blurb and buy links so you can pick up a copy:
Do You Believe in Miracles?
Experience the heart-pounding drama of real-life emergencies. Veteran EMT and physical therapist Andrea Jo Rodgers shares this all-new collection of accounts from her 30-plus years as a volunteer with her town’s local first aid and emergency squad.
Arrive on the scene with Andrea and encounter…
- Lou, a dedicated war veteran who is granted a new tour of duty from God.
- A fearful flock of ducklings that slip down a storm drain during a false alarm.
- Everett, a resilient older man who goes for an unexpected ride on the hood of an intoxicated driver’s car.
- Jenna, a young woman whose dangerous heart condition is both physical and emotional.
- Frank, a husband whose nasty fall down a flight of stairs earns him instant angel status from his devoted wife, Doris.
As you discover these and many more unforgettable stories, you’ll be reminded that miracles do happen, whether it be through the heroic efforts of first responders, the Lord’s divine intervention, or, often, both.
Book Buying Links:
Thank you Andrea Jo for being here today! Here’s where you can find her online…please reach out and connect with her:
Catholic Teen Books: https://www.catholicteenbooks.com/andrea-rodgers
Have you ever been in a situation where you were rescued by some miraculous means? Has “divine intervention” ever played a part in your life through an accident or illness?