Yesterday, the resumption of the regular calendar immediately after Leap Day, was to be anything but normal.

  • 8:30 – Coffee in Mukilteo with attorney mentor, colleague, & friend – Dubs Herschlip. See [HERE].
  • 10:30 – Land Surveyors’ Association of Washington (“LSAW”) Conference at the Tulalip Casino & Resort. See [HERE].
  • 11:00 – Service Call with Legal Match. See [HERE].
  • 4:00 – Dental appointment back in Seattle at Crown Hill. See [HERE].

Though not quite the excitement of Ray Liotta’s portrayal of Henry Hill in the helicopter scene in “Goodfellas,” this was going to be a big day. See [HERE].

Soon though, the need for decisive action would be much more compressed than even that high-flying portrayal.

About 6:50, I was just starting to take of my gym clothes readying for a shower before dashing off and I noticed a man was/had fallen behind me. He had passed with nothing more than a towel covering his waist and did the color of his face did not look good. Go time!

I called out for my locker-room mates to call 911. Three dashed over from the next bank of lockers and started to attend to him. Not worrying that I had no top on, I dashed to the front desk, and asked them to call 911 … they confirmed that they already had.

Returning to the locker room, I first called out: ‘Hey guys, help’s on its way. Let’s move this bench so there is plenty of room for the stretcher.’ Bench immediately gone.

Then, I remembered that I had seen Phil – a doctor that I had shared a return flight from Atlanta last Fall – swimming. So, while the others were attending to this fallen gentleman, I went straight to the pool.

Dr. Phil was almost just about to complete his lap and I was able to catch his attention before his turn. To my query: “Could you come to the locker room, there is a man there who has had a heart attack or seizure.” … Dr. Phil’s answer was simple: “Sure.”

He then got out of the pool and calmly came with me. By this time another gym member and doctor – Andy – was attending.

Together, they took over. Towels needed?! Towels appeared.

Dr. Phil took vitals inventory and started CPR compressions and mouth to mouth resuscitation while Dr. Andy raised their emergency patient’s legs.

Starting to get tired, trainer Alberto jumped in to relieve Phil of compression duties and my offer to keep this unfortunate man’s legs in the air was accepted.

Dr. Andy started to rifle through the locker of the downed man, stuffing his clothes into the man’s gym bag and soon found his main aim of securing the man’s wallet and phone.

Now, we had the man’s name: “Matt …”. These personal effects were passed out to a good Samaritan whose name I later discovered was Tim.

Tim called the last person with whom Matt had spoken. This gal, presumably from his work, knew Matt’s wife and got the message across of the situation and was advised to start making her way from their Mount Vernon home.

“Do you guy’s have a defibrillator?” Dr. Phil asked somewhere in all the commotion.

Someone said: “No.” And now, Dr. Andy was on top giving compressions.

Soon though, Alberto showed up with one and Dr. Phil was back at work.

Now it came down to the medics, would they make it on time?

Yet topless, I went back up to the front desk and asked what was going on. They said they were 4 blocks away. OK!

I’m going to take the elevator down and be waiting for them. Down to floor 2 which is the entrance most vehicles come in on. More importantly though from floor 2, we can also see out to the streetside at floor 1.

Approached by a couple of folks wanting to ride the elevator to the gym instead of taking the stairs, I told them we have a medical emergency. No fuss, both started their workouts 20 seconds earlier … they took the stairs.

Ambulance arrives at streetside floor 1. Down I go.

Four big guys in blue step step on and up we go.

“Ok, as you go out take a right and take another right past the front desk and the men’s locker room is again to the right.” The elevator opens at 4 and off they go.

“Ok, I’m going to go down again for the stretcher,” I said to the kid at the front desk.

“The stretcher is already here.”

“Really?!” Thinking to myself, how the hell would a stretcher have made it up there when I hadn’t been away from the only elevator. ‘Whatever.’

I went back to the locker room and had my answer. A plastic, yellow, handheld gurney was now in the locker room too.

Blue now attending. I counted 10 total. Though I didn’t have a sight line I believe they opened up Matt’s trachea to ease breathing, got him on an EKG, and also gave some sort of shot – epinephrine? But, even if I did have the sightline … I don’t know!

Dr. Andy gave his contact info to the paramedic with the computer. I asked him if he wanted Dr. Phil’s contact info too.

“Yes, could you ask him to come give it to me.”

So, back to the pool and Dr. Phil was just finishing his interrupted swim. So, that worked out.

Ultimately, the paramedics got Matt under a heavy clear plastic tarp and raised him to the real stretcher which had ultimately arrived. Strapped down, off they went.

Did Matt live or die? I think he was lucky, but I don’t know.

Whether he had or not. The picture above is the same either way!

Last task by blue, clear away the sharps … and make sure to watch the blood too.

Back to me. Shower, dress, call to Dubs, and the realization that I and another 20 – 30 people had spent 30 minutes of our lives for that of another – a good trade!

I arrived in Mukilteo right at 9:00. Though admittedly I wasn’t as calm as Dr. Phil.