Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Guess I'm A Gay Hero Now?

Maybe the Christians will let me in their Heaven now? Today, I was on my way out of my building to lunch in the elevator. On the way down to the building lobby, a heavyset gentleman (approximately mid 50's) came on the elevator around the 7th floor and we continued down. By the time our elevator reached the lobby floor the other man had collapsed on the floor. I was scared to death but automatically jumped into action. The guy was struggling with breathing and turning slowly blue. He had dropped his cell phone, pen, ID, and the cigarette and lighter, apparently he was on his way outside to smoke. I thought "see what cigarettes do" Anyway, someone (outside the now open elevator doors) was shouting it's a seizure, but I've seen seizures of all sorts and this wasn't one. This much I knew. Then some other man came into the elevator to help me (thank God). I knew we needed to turn this passed out man on his back as he was face down. Together we could barely move this man, as I'm shouting to the lobby desk to call for an ambulance. We got him on his side and he stopped breathing and I couldn't feel a pulse. So together and with some work we turned the man onto his back. I go into first aid mode (as I was trained in both First Aid & CPR), no pulse and he's turning blue. I sweep his mouth and he's obviously choking on his tongue. I say, we should put him on his side, as his body fat was weighing his lungs down and not letting him breath freely. I ask "does anyone know CPR?" No one knew, I was the only person who did. And he was way too fat for one person to perform CPR alone in a small elevator. We put the man back on his side and he began to cough and gasp for air, while still unconscious, thank God. Honestly, I was terrified that I may have to administer both 'mouth to mouth' and 'cardiac massage' in such a small space. He was so big that while laying on his side, his head hung down but never touched the floor. I knew we had to do something so I took off my coat (Kenneth Cole), rolled it up into a ball and used it to bring his head up higher so his airway wasn't constricted. I, then start shoving his belongings (even the cigarette) into his pockets assuming the medics would come soon. At least he was breathing even though there was no sign of a pulse. That's when I knew it was possibly a heart attack. We called up to his company to send someone down and see if they could identify him in order to contact family members. Finally, the medics showed up and took over. And was I happy to see them. I don't know if he lived or not. But I know I tried to do the right things. I know if I needed help, I would want it. I'm shocked at how many people don't know CPR. Shocked... Maybe if they weren't so busy trying to legislate against gays they could be doing something useful. Like helping people.
All I can say is...this gay is OK.
UPDATE: I was informed today (next day) that the medics were able to get his pulse going before he left my office building, but he ended up dieing at the hospital.


Blogger CawfeeGuy said...

holy crap! that was amazing! you're truly fantastic!

7:51 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nice job! I don't know CPR, so I would have been a helpless bystander.

You have a great point. If I needed help, I would want it. I might just investigate where to get CPR certified.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Buddy said...

I'm sorry to hear that the man passed away. You should be proud of acting so courageously and quickly even if you had to use your Kenneth Cole coat. You are a good man.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rest in peace to the poor guy!

I had a similar incident recently.

A guy apparently had a seizure and fell to the ground with a gaping head wound. I do know CPR and was ready to oblige if needed... But the guy was breathing....

And I phoned 911 and while I was waiting with the guy and was on hold for 911 it seemed like it took 10 minutes for the medics to arrive...

Later when I checked my phone log... it was only about 4 minutes!

It only seemed like forever...

I have no idea what happened to my guy...

3:31 PM  

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