Cardiologists Save Life at Heart Walk

June 30, 2014 | Adventist Health

For the past nine years, Adventist Medical Center (AMC) in Portland, Ore., and the Northwest Regional Heart and Vascular have participated in the Greater Portland Heart and Stroke Walk as a way to raise awareness about cardiac health in the communities while supporting the American Heart Association.

More than 200 AMC employees and their families participated in the event including Brad Evans and Doug Dawley, both cardiologists at the Northwest Regional Heart and Vascular. Evans and Dawley were among those who were first on the scene when, ironically, a participant suffered a heart attack. The prompt actions of these doctors and the others who were so quick to help are credited with saving the man's life.

Local news outlets reported that Portland Fire and Rescue crews had difficulty getting into the event area due to the large crowd, but walkers, the two physicians and a trained EMT “jumped in and started performing CPR,” according to Tommy Schoeder, Portland Fire and Rescue spokesman.

A person can survive for only four to six minutes before lack of oxygen results in brain damage or death. That’s why it’s important that everyone knows how to do CPR. “This incident demonstrated that CPR can buy extra time, until the ambulance was able to get to the patient and transport him to the hospital,” says Evans, who was the first person to begin administering CPR on the patient.

“I was so glad to hear that the patient survived his sudden cardiac-death incident,” notes Dawley, who was also involved in performing the CPR until paramedics were able to arrive on the scene along the banks of the Willamette River. “Everyone should learn to do CPR. It saves lives.”

“More than 7,000 people were participating in the community event, but these physicians were at the right place at the right time," says one American Heart Walk attendee. "This man is alive today because of the heroic acts of these two walkers."

For more information about heart health, visit the Northwest Regional Heart and Vascular's website,