Saving One of Their Own
From left to right: Linda Waite, R.N., David Doolin, R.N., Joanne Knepp, R.N., and Marsha King, R.N.
If ever there was the right place for David Doolin, R.N., to collapse and suffer a heart attack, it would be near Memorial’s ER. On the Friday morning of April 15, David and several Team Members were walking back to the Outpatient Surgery Center after completing a weekly clinic at the hospital auditorium.
As David and co-worker Joanne Knepp, R.N., were climbing the stairs in the ER stairwell David grasped the railing and then fell onto the steps. Joanne yelled for help, and quickly Linda Waite, R.N., rushed down the steps and called a code blue. Within moments, numerous fellow Team Members appeared in the stairwell ready to help in any way possible. Among them was Emergency Care Center’s Chris Burlingame, R.N., who furiously performed chest compressions on David who lay unresponsive and without a pulse. Her valiant efforts did not restore his pulse, but they kept blood circulating to his brain. Several Team Members carried the still unresponsive David up to the second floor where he was placed on a cart and taken directly to the nearby ER.
Medical personnel used a defibrillator to restore his pulse and heartbeat. Minutes later an EKG revealed a critical finding — multiple blockages in his blood vessels — that required he undergo immediate open heart surgery. The surgery was successful, and David has since returned to work.
He expressed his gratitude to all those who responded in saving his life. “Without you, my wife would be a widow and my kids would be without a dad,” he wrote in a letter to the staff. Among the departments who served a role in this lifesaving effort are: Outpatient Surgery Center, ER, Anesthesia and Major Surgery.
Joanne was grateful that David was not alone in the stairwell when he suffered the heart attack. “Sometimes we are put in a place for a reason. Thank God so many people came to help,” she says. Chris added, “It was everybody doing their job and doing it so well.”