- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A Portland law firm secretary says she stopped her car and ran to help when she spotted a man trying to revive a limp woman by shaking her.

Laura Schmidt, 31, told The Oregonian (https://is.gd/2bLyuQ ) the man told her the woman had just injected heroin when she fell unconscious late Monday afternoon. Schmidt says she started CPR chest compressions but still the woman was turning blue.

“I was asking the Lord for guidance,” Schmidt said - and wondering why no one else had stopped.

That’s when the governor of Oregon showed up.

Gov. John Kitzhaber said he was on his way to meet friends for dinner when he looked off the edge of the street and saw someone who appeared to be giving CPR. Telling his driver to stop and his security officers to call 911, the former emergency room doctor and his driver took over from Schmidt.

At that point, the governor said, the stricken woman had a pulse but wasn’t breathing. He fitted her with a special “bag valve” mask that delivers oxygen quickly.

With additional aid from arriving fire department medics, the unidentified woman was breathing on her own when she was taken to a hospital.

“I’d venture to say that if I hadn’t come along, we could potentially have lost her,” Kitzhaber told reporters Tuesday.

The governor said he hopes the woman gets help. And he said the encounter left him thinking that everyone needs to learn CPR.

“You can save people’s lives, if you get there early enough,” he said.

Kitzhaber has rescued people before.

In 2010, while he was at a gubernatorial debate in Eugene, the forum was suspended for about 20 minutes after an audience member suffered an apparent seizure.

When someone asked if there was a doctor in the house, Kitzhaber rushed up the aisle to provide first aid.

He checked the man’s vital signs and ensured he had an open airway until paramedics arrived.

The 67-year-old Kitzhaber, a Democrat, was elected governor twice in the 1990s. He was barred by term limits from running in 2002, but made a political comeback and won an unprecedented third term in November 2010. He’s running for a fourth term.


Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com

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