Last night my friend and neighbor Stephen Rose nearly died.
He went out for a workout, running hill circuits on Edgewood Avenue. As he was returning home he met up with my friend and neighbor Brian, who was out on a bike ride, a couple blocks from home. He and Brian walked back to our block, Brian went inside his house, and Stephen crossed the street to his front yard.
Stephen then laid down in his front yard to cool off, had an exchange with his mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and son, who were on their way to visit another family member. Stephen’s next-door neighbor Dave came home with groceries and as Dave walked in to his house he waved at Stephen, and Stephen waved back.
Then an indeterminate amount of time passed.
A husband and wife walking their dog noticed Stephen lying down and crossed the street to investigate. The woman is a nurse, and she tried to get him to respond. He didn’t. She checked his pulse and found nothing. She started chest compressions and her husband stopped traffic on Monroe Street to use a motorist’s cell phone to call 911. Another neighbor and Stephen’s wife, Jackie, helped with chest compressions while the ambulance was on its way.
Thank you so much, Crystal, Paul, Sarah and Jackie, for saving my friend’s life!
We recreated the timeline of events and feel confident that his bloodflow stopped for only a few minutes. Having been on a run, his blood was richly oxygenated.
The paramedics arrived and continued chest compressions.
My wife Rebecca had just gone outside to take a walk with our friend and neighbor Courtney as the paramedics were getting started. She ran back in with a look on her face the likes of which I have never seen. “The ambulance is out there for Stephen!” she told me.
I ran outside and across the street to Stephen’s wife Jackie who was standing in disbelief watching EMTs pump her husband’s chest. Jackie was shaking as I put my arm over her shoulder. “What happened?” I asked Jackie.
“I don’t know. I don’t know,” she said.
I watched my friends chest go up and down, his belly go in and out, as the EMTs pushed on his chest. He was limp. Lifeless. Seemingly gone. I was in disbelief. My mind would not believe that the scene was real.
The EMTs used defibrillation paddles on Stephen and loaded him onto a stretcher and into the ambulance, pumping his chest the whole time. Jackie and her sister Jamie followed the ambulance toward the hospital and the frantic scene disipated. A dozen neighbors were left standing there, wondering what would happen to our friend Stephen.
As of this morning, here’s what I know.
Stephen’s heart and breathing started back up on their own after he arrived at the hospital. A stent was inserted into a weak artery that was found to be the cause of the matter. Brain scans were done last night but nothing definitive was determined. Heart tests were performed and no damage was found. His heart is strong and functioning as it should.
Stephen is currently in a medically-induced coma, for reasons I don’t fully understand. I would presume it will allow his body to rest and recover that much faster. The current plan is to slowly bring him out of the coma and into consciousness tomorrow morning. We will find out, hopefully, that he came through this crazy ordeal unscathed. Whatever condition he finds himself in, I will be there for him and his family, as will dozens if not hundreds of people who know and love Stephen.
He is an incredible man who exudes energy and passion and friendliness to everyone around him. Please send your positive vibes, your prayers, your well-wishes out for Stephen.