Almost a month after he went into cardiac arrest and was saved by a bystander who performed CPR, Darrel Docter is back at his Paso Robles home recovering and awaiting his upcoming bypass surgery.
After having pain between his shoulder blades, Docter thought he had pulled a muscle the previous week while working. His wife took him to his chiropractor’s office, where he went into cardiac arrest.
Allison Kimpton, 36, of Paso Robles, a registered nurse at Central Coast Home Health, was at the chiropractic office getting a massage when she heard Docter’s wife yell, “He’s not breathing!”
Within one minute, Kimpton said, she initiated CPR, and someone called 911. About two minutes later, the paramedics arrived and took over.
“A terrible thing happened to me, but it happened in the right place,” Docter said. “If I had been at home, I wouldn’t be here right now. She kept me alive.”
Ken Johnson, the Emergency Services chief in Paso Robles, said Emergency Services responds to between 25 and 30 cardiac arrests annually, and rarely is bystander CPR performed before the paramedics arrive.
“It’s important that community members get CPR trained from the American Red Cross or American Heart Association,” he said. “It’s important for people to be able to recognize an emergency.”
Physicians at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton told Docter, 59, that his back pain was a result of a heart attack he suffered two days prior to going into cardiac arrest.
Docter said he was given a pacemaker and is scheduled to have bypass surgery in a few weeks.
Docter and Kimpton have not been in contact since the January incident, but Docter’s wife sent her a thank you note, Docter said.
“I’d like to meet my angel some day,” Docter said.
Kimpton said she has been a nurse for six years, and CPR certified for 20 years, but this was the first time she has been involved in a situation in which there were no other medical personnel.