LUCKEY, Ohio — Trisha Ann Appelhans, who spent her working life serving the northwest Ohio region as a paramedic and registered nurse, died Saturday at Toledo Hospital. She was 34.
She died after fighting an 11-year battle with cancer — basal-cell carcinoma, said her sister-in-law, Tracy Binkowski.
Mrs. Appelhans of Luckey, Ohio, became an EMT for Swanton Rescue and a 911 dispatcher for Fulton County in 1997 right after graduating from Swanton High School.
In 2000, she received both her paramedic and firefighter certifications and worked as a paramedic in the University of Toledo Medical Center’s emergency room, and as a volunteer firefighter at the Swanton Fire Department, said her husband, Matthew Appelhans.
In 2001, she became a paramedic instructor for the Northwest Ohio Paramedics Training Program when it was considered one of the best programs in the nation, he said.
“She could see that she could make even more of a difference in training people to do what she does.”
After becoming a full-time paramedic instructor at UTMC, the former Medical College of Ohio, she entered Mercy College School of Nursing in 2004.
Mrs. Appelhans also she continued working as a paramedic, gave birth to her first of two daughters, and underwent numerous surgeries, radiation treatments, and rounds of chemotherapy, he said.
“She loved helping people,” Mr. Appelhans said. “That was just what she did.”
Mrs. Appelhans became a registered nurse in 2007 and when she graduated, she received Mercy College’s Mae Dickman Award for academic excellence. She worked full-time in the UTMC emergency room until 2012.
Mrs. Appelhans also was a member of the board of Bethlehem Lutheran Preschool, a volunteer with the Luckey Elementary Reading Program, and the manager and scorekeeper of her daughter’s softball team, the Luckey Ducks, Mr. Appelhans.
Ms. Binkowski said softball was one of the ways Mrs. Appelhans bonded with her family. She and Mrs. Appelhans were always trying to get an adult league together.
Ms. Binkowski saw how much Mrs. Appelhans cared about people.
“No matter where she was, whether it was saving a life or just making somebody’s day better, she was always helping someone,” she said.
Mrs. Appelhans was born Nov. 26, 1978, in Toledo, to Steven and Patricia Adamski.
“She put up a tremendous fight over the last 10 years,” Mr. Appelhans said.
“She just wanted to live to see her girls grow up. It’s very sad that she isn’t going to be able to. But she battled. She’s definitely a fighter.”
Surviving are her husband, Matthew, whom she married on May 15, 2004; daughters, Jordan and Josie; parents, Steve and Patti Adamski, and brother, Josh Adamski.
Visitation will be from on Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Marsh Funeral Home, 4094 State Rt. 105, Pemberville. Services will be Thursday at 10 a.m. in Blessed John XXIII Catholic Community Church, 24250 Dixie Highway, Perrysburg.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Trisha’s Daughters College Education Fund or Support for People with Oral, Head, or Neck Cancer.
Contact Arielle Stambler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6050.