Emotional reunion with first responders for woman who wanted to - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Emotional reunion with first responders for woman who wanted to end life


It all came to a head for Donna McLendon, in mid-February, after an all-consuming rage took over after years of childhood trauma that started when she was just 9-years-old.

"It can be a dream that triggers it or smell," McLendon said. "I can become violent towards myself."

Filled with pain, McLendon swallowed 20 pills and simply hoped to die.

"I have post traumatic stress disorder," she said.

Mrs. McLendon became violent, destructive and bent on ending it all in her home near Wetumpka.

"I took my hand and knocked off everything on the counter, and kicked the door off its hinges," she said.

McLendon's husband, of more than 20 years, called 911 and two deputies arrived with an ambulance not far behind.

"I became agitated again," McLendon remembered.

The turning point came in the front yard when one of the deputies had no choice but to tase her, and in doing so the deputies made the decision to send McLendon to the hospital, not to jail.

"I think they did it because they really cared," she said.

Today, Donna McLendon is on the road to recovery, but a recovery that wouldn't be complete without doing something special, thanking the very men who in McLendon's words 'saved her life'. The reunion at the Elmore County Sheriff's Department was a bit emotional for Mrs. McLendon.

"I just want to thank you," McLendon told the deputies as she wiped away a tear or two. "What y'all did, I needed it."

Sgt. Tracy Reed and Deputy Kyle Wall brushed off the heroics saying they just did what needed to be done and nothing more.

"I don't know if we saved a life," Sgt. Reed said. "We just did what needed to be done."

"To send her to jail would have compounded the problem," Deputy Wall said.

"They even checked on me afterwards and apologized to my daughter for having to tase me, McLendon said. "They didn't need to apologize, but I was impressed with that."

McLendon added that her blood pressure dropped dangerously low the next morning and if she had been in jail instead of the hospital, McLendon is certain she would have died.

Two deputies who made the right call, a grateful lady who is so glad they did. The two veteran law enforcement officials say they can't remember the last time anyone actually coming to the department and 'thanking' them.

Moving forward Donna McLendon says she feels better now and learned a lot. One lesson is she learned is there are a lot of good people in this world and never again will she attempt to take her life.

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