Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I was sitting in the break area today drinking my last cup of morning coffee with my friend Cindy. A moment later, another coworker came out of the office area into the hall, waking toward the bathroom. All of a sudden, he collapsed a few feet away from the table where we were sitting.
I thought at first he had somehow tripped, but his coloring was all wrong. He was conscience, but he was unresponsive. He didn't know his name, the date, nor could he smile. OK, not sure if this is an urban legend or not, but I read in a chain email that if someone cannot smile, there is a chance they could be having a stroke.
I pulled out my phone and dialed 911. My heart was pounding but somehow my voice remained calm enough to describe the situation in detail. People started gathering around so I asked them to back away and they all did though they hovered nearby out of concern for their friend. One guy hustled down to the guards desk to direct paramedics to the area. Someone had the presence of mind to look at the emergency procedures and made calls to building security and others who immediately swung into action to ensure help arrived quickly.
Indeed in less than ten minutes, five paramedics from the Hoover Fire Department came in and took control of the situation. The guy who had collapsed had recovered a little but the firemen hooked him up to monitors, and did batteries of tests. A few minutes later, they whisked him away to a waiting ambulance and then to the emergency room.
I tried all afternoon to get an update from the manager of that group, but he was at the hospital and I assume he had turned his cell and pager off which is usually required in medical facilities.
I'm praying that he is OK.
I am amazed by my coworkers. Everyone worked together like a well oiled machine - as if we had all practiced this a hundred times. I'm not sure about the others, but it was the first time I have ever been close to anything like this. I hope I am never this close again.


  1. Hello from another songwriter based in Wales, UK. This must have been scary for you and I hope the guy is ok

    sam x

  2. Rick, I had my annual physical last week and one thing the doctor explained to me is that at the first signs of a heart attack or stroke, give the person two aspirin to chew. I didn't know that. Apparently, it thins the blood quickly. And call 911 immediately.


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