Wife of paramedic who died on duty says he ‘loved to serve people’

After her husband died from a medical emergency while on the job, the wife of a Charlotte paramedic shared how she and her family are healing by honoring his legacy.

“He loved to serve people,” she told Channel 9′s Gina Esposito. “Not only our family, but our community. It was a calling for him and he definitely felt like it’s something God wanted him to do.”

Next week would have marked eight years of marriage for Taryn and Mark Hayes. The couple had four children -- three adopted, one in foster care -- with ages ranging from 11 months to 9 years old.


Recently, Taryn said her husband was working part-time at MEDIC so he could stay home with the kids.

“Fun, he was a really fun dad,” she said.

On May 13, Taryn said Mark had an issue with his heart while working on an ambulance in Pineville. He died that afternoon.

“Definitely in shock,” she said.

>> MEDIC created a GoFundMe for Hayes’ family. Click here to contribute.

In days that followed, the community stepped up to honor Mark through several processions and a funeral service in Huntersville where Mark grew up. He had been a paramedic for 26 years.

On Friday, Taryn visited MEDIC with her children. They brought a poster for National EMS Week and “thank you” bags.

“I’m so pleased because you helped my dad the hardest you could do,” daughter Lydia said. “All I want to say is thank you.”

“We have been singing your graces to everyone,” Taryn said. “We have just felt very supported by you, especially by MEDIC as a whole, but especially by you the last few weeks.”

Taryn said that was one way they could honor Mark’s memory and it helped her family with the healing process.

“The nights are definitely the hardest part,” she said. “Once everybody’s in bed -- that’s the hard part for me. That is when I feel his absence the most.”

The Hayes family created the GoFundMe to help with child care and everyday expenses for their four children.

(WATCH BELOW: Family, friends say final goodbye to paramedic who died on duty)