A West Virginia University student from Fairmont may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but if you ask University bus driver Gerald Towns, her timing couldnt have been better.
Bevin Van Gilder, a senior petroleum and natural gas engineering major, inadvertently delivered a holiday miracle Tuesday (Dec. 10) when she mixed up the date of a final exam and ended up coming to the aid of Towns, who was experiencing severe chest pains while waiting for students to board his bus at the WVU Coliseum.
VanGilder had just parked her car in the Coliseum lot and boarded a shuttle to the EngineeringSciencesBuilding when she noticed the driver was in pain. She was the only passenger on the bus.
“He was grabbing his chest and moaning,”said Van Gilder, a former CPR coach.”I asked if he was okay and could I drive him to the hospital?”
Though he was in distress, Towns was concerned that if Van Gilder drove him to the hospital, she would be late for her final.
“That really was not the most important issue at the time,”VanGilder reflected a couple days later.
While another bus driver arrived to take over Townsroute, VanGilder quickly got the driver in her car and drove him to RubyMemorialHospitals emergency room.
She waited there for about an hour, until Towns was admitted and receiving treatment. While at the hospital, she called her professor.
“I called my professor to explain what had happened and why I would be late for the final,”she said.”He said, �€~Bevin, you didnt miss your final. You got the times mixed up, your final isnt until tomorrow.
“I was amazed,”she said.”I never get dates and times wrong like that. I guess I was just supposed to be on that bus.”
Fortunately, Towns did not have a heart attack. He is currently a patient at the hospital where he is undergoing treatment for blocked arteries.
As for Bevin, she has one more final to go, but considers the week a success no matter what happens.
“It feels pretty good to know I was able to help someone,”she said.”Thats when you really realize whats important.”
VanGilders mom, Kathryn, is proud of her daughter.
“Bevin is a deans list student and does not get final exam dates mixed up,”she said.”And, what are the chances of her being the only person on that bus? We are grateful for Christmas miracles.”