I’ve worked with some extraordinary people since I started in EMS. One of the most extraordinary people, hands down, is Captain Kevin Przybyl. I met Kevin on my very first day in EMS on a tour of the volunteer ambulance station I had joined. Later I worked with him at a private company that went on 911 calls. We were partners for a few shifts in the inner city of Buffalo, NY, and I was lucky to have him as a mentor.
Kevin has cystic fibrosis, which is a genetic disease that until recently people were not expected to live with past adolescence. Its most known for its effect on the lungs, but also causes serious digestive problems. Patients must do physical therapy each day, take several medications, use frequent breathing treatments, and adhere to a strict diet to preserve their lung function and digestive system.
Kevin held several officer positions with our volunteer service, was a dispatcher with our company, and endured the same 12+ hour street corner posting assignments in the hood as everyone else. His small physical size earned him the nickname “Bubba,” but his huge heart more than compensated for it.
Kevin has since moved to Florida, is married, and has a toddler. He owns Orlando Trophy Bass, where he charters fishing trips near Disney World. Now in his early 30’s, he does all this with 30% lung function. A portion of each trip is donated to his foundation, which raises money to help people with cystic fibrosis pay for the medications needed to sustain their life.
Cystic fibrosis is a disease that is not covered in depth by most EMS education programs, and it may be encountered on calls for special needs children. Kevin’s blog is a good resource about the disease, and readers can appreciate what it’s like to live with it.
To read more about fishing and cystic fibrosis, or to book a trip, click here.
To read Kevin’s blog, click here.
To donate to the Kevin A. Przybyl Breathe Easy Foundation, click here.