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Chain of Survival gives Legacy Meridian Park patient a second chance at life

December 12, 2012

At 46, Duane Richards had never experienced a cardiac problem of any kind. On the evening of November 20, everything changed. Richards was on his way home from a college visit to Oregon State University with his 17-year-old daughter, Sierra, when he suddenly went into cardiac arrest and slumped over the wheel. What happened next gave him a second chance at life.

After guiding the car safely to the side of the road, Sierra called 9-1-1. Then, Isaiah Thompkins, who was several cars back, helped get Mr. Richards out of the car and began performing hands-only CPR. Several minutes later, firefighter/paramedic Jon Koenig and his crew from the Woodburn Fire District arrived and began early defibrillation, shocking Richards 12 times to re-start his heart on the way to Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center. There, Richards received medical intervention in the emergency department, Cath lab and ICU. After making a full recovery 11 days later, Richards went home November 30 with a defibrillator implanted in his chest to shock his heart should this ever happen again.

On December 10, Richards and his family reunited in the Legacy Meridian Park emergency department room he was initially brought to with dozens of people who played a part in his survival. KATU’s Melanie Wingo was there to capture the emotional reunion and help the family, first responders and Meridian Park staff share an important message with the public - that hands-only CPR saves lives.

Watch and read the KATU – Channel 2 story here: