Ruth Nelson-Lau and Dan Lau of Merrill. Photo courtesy Merrill Fire Department.
Ruth Nelson-Lau and Dan Lau of Merrill donate $1,000 to Merrill Fire Department. Photo courtesy Merrill Fire Department.

MERRILL – Ruth Nelson-Lau and Dan Lau of Merrill recently donated $1,000 to the Merrill Fire Department as a way to say thank you for the care they received from Merrill’s team, as well as first responders from outlying communities, after a December 2020 single-vehicle crash.

It was their way of giving back to the community, said Josh Klug, Merrill Fire Chief. Ruth knows how stressful emergency care can be, he said. She had worked as a nurse practitioner at the walk-in clinic of Good Samaritan Emergency Department from 2003 – 2014. 

“We are so grateful for their donation,” Klug said. The Laus’ gift was used to help buy a pediatric resuscitation system.

On the flip side, the Laus’ say they are “incredibly” thankful for the first responders and emergency care providers who cared for them during their time of need.

“We are so happy to live in a community that is staffed by such excellent emergency care providers,” they said. “Luckily some good Samaritans were in the area, saw our crash and stopped immediately. They called 911 and before even a few minutes passed, two first responders from the town of Russell were on scene.  They did a great job, especially helping Dan as he was having severe back pain and couldn’t move his legs. Then it wasn’t long and two ambulances pulled up and began the next phase of our care. It was such a huge relief to me that I knew three of the four paramedics.”

The Laus’ vehicle after their December 2020 crash.

The Laus’ accident was a single-vehicle crash on Dec. 26 when they were returning home from a family member’s home on Lake Alice. The couple hit black ice on the road and flipped three times before coming to a stop in the ditch. Ruth was treated for her injuries and released the same day as the crash. Dan was hospitalized for one week in acute care and three weeks in the rehab unit. He is now receiving outpatient therapy.