‘Sittin’ in Jesus’ waiting room’


Charles Hammack says that he would not have been around to enjoy Thanksgiving with his family this year without the help of Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District personnel and others.

“I wasn’t on my death bed, but I was sittin’ in Jesus’ waiting room with hyperbolic shock because I had lost so much blood internally,” the 70-year-old Hillsboro resident said, noting that he had lost consciousness. “If it hadn’t been for these local heroes — and believe me, they are heroes — they came out here and flat saved my life.”

Hammock said he had lost three times the amount of blood that would be fatal to most people. He was transported by Paint Creek to Highland District Hospital on Sunday, Nov. 20, flown by helicopter on to Bethesda North Hospital, but was back home in time to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with his family.

“We have many things to be thankful for, but one thing I’m especially thankful for is the local heroes,” Hammock said. “I have been treated so civilly and kindly by these people here, they need a big ole thank you and thatta boy. They treated me like I was the most valuable asset the community has. I was moved and so was my family. I think there’s a whole lot of things we take for granted. I think the community should be aware just how lucky we are to have the first responders that we have here.”

Originally from Southeast Kentucky, Hammock said his first few years were spent in what was “basically a Third World Country. We were starving to death,” he added. “If we didn’t shoot it, we didn’t eat.”

So he came to Ohio with his family in 1959, lived in Adams County for several years, and has been a Hillsboro resident for the past 12 years.

He said things like a neighbor erecting a “(!?$!) Biden” sign in their yard sour him at times because it goes against the example he tries to set for his grandchildren, but the friendliness and kindness of others make him proud to call Hillsboro home. He said lots of people in the town have helped him through a number of health issues. He said local funeral home director Steve Thompson has helped with a place to live, Thompson’s mother Maxine Kratzer was a good friend until her passing in 2020, M.D. Thomas Randall at Highland District Hospital was “just paramount” to him surviving his latest health scare, and that Paint Creek has helped him a number of times.

“One thing that kept me here is the friendliness and togetherness in the community. I’m paying back and I want to give something to Hillsboro,” Hammock said. “There’s been so much discourse that we hold over each other about something as menial as politics. If I can persuade one person to be thankful for the things we have around here like Paint Creek, maybe I can repay them in some small way.”

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

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