Sarah Ray, a paramedic hailing from Tennessee, could never have imagined that she could not take a day off work even on her wedding.
Just as she was waiting for all of her family members to assemble on her special day, Sarah, who is a paramedic with Montgomery County, received the upsetting news that her grandmother’s car had collided with another on the way to Ray’s reception party.
Sarah, along with the man with whom she had the tied the knot just minutes before, rushed to the scene of the accident. Hiking up her wedding dress, Sarah got into the ambulance to see what she could do to help.
In the aftermath of the incident, Sarah’s photo of her leaving the scene of the crash in her wedding dress has gone viral.
“There are a lot of people that are using the word ‘hero,'” an unassuming Sarah told ABC News, “I don’t think what we did was heroic. It’s just anything that any first-responder would have done.”
Flooded with praise for her act, Sarah took to Facebook to thank everyone who poured in with kind comments on her social media profiles.
The crash occurred just two miles away from the church where Sarah was getting married. The family said that a driver slammed into their vehicle after running a red light. No one was seriously injured, and Ray’s grandmother is back from the hospital after formal evaluation.
Sarah spoke about the time when she received the news, saying she had no idea how seriously her family members were hurt.
“We were still at the church. Paul [her husband] and I are both paramedics and a lot of our groomsmen and bridesmaids are also. My father, grandmother and grandfather were all riding to the reception and we all stayed behind. We just knew they had been in a wreck and the car had been totaled. We didn’t know any injuries at the time.”
The powerful photo, which was taken by Sarah’s mother, Marcy Martin, has been doing the rounds of social media since it was uploaded last week. Amassing more than 6,000 shares and 12,000 “likes” by Monday morning, it has made both Sarah and her mother mini-celebrities on internet.
Ray’s mother is a professional photographer. Speaking to Channel 5(via Metro), Marcy spoke about why she thinks the photo resonated with so many people.
“I love this photo because it shows her character and accentuates her beauty.”
For Sarah, however, the photo is cause for much mirth. “I know the face that I’m giving my mom was the ‘Really, mom? Right now you’re taking a picture?’ ” she said. “I’m sure we were a sight on the side of the road for people driving by.”
The EMS station where Sarah works was fielding media calls from all over on Monday. Her chief, Jimmie Edwards, told USA Today, that Sarah has always not only been a dedicated paramedic, but also a compassionate and humble human being.
“She exemplifies our profession. She is an excellent paramedic. Personally, she’s a very humble and compassionate person.”
Sarah’s husband said he was overwhelmed with the appreciation that people have shown for his paramedic wife.
“I’m just a husband in the background. It’s been a mostly positive thing. We appreciate the support.”
Ray, though appreciative of all the support, still does not know why she is being a hailed as a hero in social media spaces. For Sarah, she will always be a paramedic first.
“We had stopped at accidents before and in regular clothes,” she added. “It just so happened that this time, I was in a wedding dress.”
[Photo via Marcy Martin / Facebook]