A fighter and giver to the very end, Asante Contreras came into this world as a life force.
“I almost lost him twice during my pregnancy but he was determined to be here,” said his mother Anja.
But the life that fought so hard to be in this world was abruptly taken at the young age of 20.
On May 8, 2020, a community of first responders lined Highway 90 to honor Asante, a fellow EMT, as he was sent home to Del Rio, Texas to rest. When he arrived in his hometown, family and friends rallied in a procession to honor the young man who inspired them so much.
“Asante was just a bright light,” Anja said. “He lifted up the room. He just made everyone happier by being around them.”
People remember Asante for his smile, positive energy, and his passion to help others.
Asante dedicated his life to helping others. He hoped to be an emergency room physician one day and became an EMT in order to save money for medical school. He died a day before he was supposed to take the test needed to complete the Paramedic Certification Program at UT Health San Antonio.
The school honored Asante’s work by giving him his certification posthumously.
Anja remembers Asante’s supervisor telling her, “Not only did we lose a friend and a coworker and a wonderful human being, but the medical field lost out on his future care. Patients lost out on a passionate caregiver.”
Asante was able to leave one final, lasting gift. He was a cornea and tissue donor—a decision he had made when he got his driver’s license.
“Even in the end, he did what he wanted to do,” Anja said. “He helped people and that’s exactly what he wanted to do. This is what he dreamed of.”
Asante left a lasting impression on all who came across his path. More than a year following his death, his mother continues to receive random calls from strangers telling her that Asante had helped them when he was working as EMT.