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Grateful for the kindness of strangers when a major medcial incident brough him down

The SW Community Connection almost lost one of its faithful readers last spring. Hank Hosfield was riding his bike when he had a major heart attack. He's alive today because people he didn't know, who knew exactly what to do, were immediately by his side. He'd still like to thank one of them.

Are you the red-headed anesthesiologist who responded in May?

By Hank Hosfield

Up until May 10th, I was an avid fair-weather road cyclist— an old wrestler turned bike jock, actually. Then I died. I was about three miles into a 25-mile fat burn ride when my heart went into ventricle fibrillation. The lower chamber wasn't pumping blood the way it's supposed to. I went down in the intersection of Southwest Garden Home and Southwest Oleson Road just after 5 p.m. Luckily, it was Friday rush hour, and I went down in front of medical people on their way home. One was an anesthesiologist. They started CPR on me within a couple minutes and  worked on me until the EMTs got there five minutes later. It took 20 minutes, three epinephrine injections and two jolts to bring me back. I opened my eyes staring up into sunlight and started talking. 

 

I survived with no vital organ damage. My doctor informed me and my wife that 99.9% of people who suffer ventricle fibrillation the way I had do not survive. If they get revived and into an ambulance, 85% don't make it. If they get to ICU, 60% die. That's just survival. Loss of vital function is another matter. I came out okay. I was beat up from hitting the pavement (but no broken bones) and the vigorous pushing of CPR. The staff at Oregon Health & Science University looked on me like some kind of miracle.

 

I don't know what to make of living or dying, or fate, or some bigger plan, but I can tell you for certain that those people first on the scene to start CPR, saved my life and my functionality. I finally got the accident report and found the names of the first medical person and was able to contact her. I still hope to meet with her to further express my thanks. I haven't been able to find the anesthesiologist. I'm told she has red hair. I'd like to find her and thank her.

Hank Hosfield

Hank Hosfield moved to Southwest Portland in 1987 to write advertising copy for Nike and other clients. He and his wife, Sydney, have lived in the Multnomah Village neighborhood since 2003. Hank is past president of the Tualatin Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited and an avid fly fisherman.


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