Hero nurse dies saving elderly paraplegic patient from fire

A Louisiana nurse died saving her 71-year-old paraplegic patient from a house fire, officials said Wednesday.

When flames broke out on Monday at the patient’s home in Delhi, Gwendolyn Theus, 64, jumped to action and tried several times to wheel the woman, who was in her bed, to safety, according to Louisiana’s state fire marshal.

Theus got near the window, before succumbing to the heavy smoke, authorities said. Both women were then pulled from the bedroom by firefighters.

“Ms. Theus’ valiant efforts to put her patient’s life before her own are both admirable and heartbreaking,” State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said.

Theus did not survive the harrowing ordeal, but her patient, who was airlifted to a burn unit in Mississippi, is expected to recover, officials said.

“Our prayers are with her loved ones and with the surviving victim for her recovery and loss of her dedicated nurse and friend,” Browning said.

With Post wires

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