Letters to the Editor

Quick action saved his life

Near midnight Aug. 29, I lolled out of my chair while watching TV, gagged and stopped breathing.

My wife, Jodi, started to revive me while my son, Copper, called 911. Then he did CPR under dispatchers Jaqui Gowne and Deborah Mason’s direction until San Juan County deputies Jeff Asher and Nikki Rodgers came in with an Automatic External Defibrillator unit and oxygen.

They zapped my heart back to working and continued until the San Juan Island EMS unit — with Chief Paramedic Jim Cole, Paramedic Ryan Nelson and EMTs Steve Alluise, Dan Bacon, Deanna Banry, Deborah Grimes, Joaquin Hubbard, Kaitlyn Johnson, James Kellogg, Margaret Longley, Herb Mason and Ben Waldron — stabilized me as a well-trained team.

Jodi was impressed with their quiet intensity.

They took me in the Aid Unit to the med-flight pad, where I was stable enough to fly to St. Joseph’s, but still non-responsive (no brain activity). The St. Joe’s ER staff prepared to freeze my head four hours after I gagged.

I woke up, scared the nurse and, several days later after receiving a pacemaker, the cardiologist told me that my son, the deputies, paramedics and EMTs saved my life AND my brain.

The Automatic External Defibrillators are donated by the public after an extensive campaign by Lainie Volk to get those AEDs into the sheriffs’ vehicles. They are cheap, considering the alternative, and tax-deductible if you get the right paper work. THEY NEED MORE AEDs in sheriffs’ cars.

Thank you infinitely for saving me and giving my life back.

Michael Calhoun
Friday Harbor

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