Congressman’s CPR saves collapsed airport traveler’s life

Matthew Boyle - The Daily Caller
September 20, 2011

Chalk up Tennessee Republican Rep. Phil Roe’s Tuesday morning actions to heroism: Roe saved a man’s life with CPR after he flatlined in the Charlotte, North Carolina airport.

Roe, an obstetrician before he first ran for public office, was walking through the Charlotte terminal with South Carolina Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney at about 7:15 a.m. when someone yelled out, “Is anybody here a doctor? There’s a gentleman who just collapsed!”

Mulvaney told The Daily Caller that Roe rushed to the mans’ side and began CPR immediately.

“He literally had just collapsed and Phil ran over there and I believe there was a nurse in the same area and Phil was on this guy [so fast],” Mulvaney said in a phone interview. “I bet the guy wasn’t down probably 30 seconds before Phil was taking care of him. They gave him CPR for like 5 or 6 minutes. They pumped his chest pretty good. It was work, it was pretty intimidating to watch.”

When paramedics arrived shortly thereafter, their emergency equipment showed the man had flat lined. Mulvaney said the man was not breathing and his heart had stopped. He was legally dead.

“The guy was dead,” Mulvaney said. “There’s no question.”

Roe continued with CPR. Then, Roe and the paramedics shocked the man with a defibrillator. The man came back to life. His heart started again and he began breathing. Mulvaney said he was conscious but disoriented.

“I don’t know if he [Roe] has ever done this before in public, but he looked as though he’d done it about a thousand times,” Mulvaney said. “It was impressive to watch.”

“This guy is alive because of Phil Roe and a couple other very important people at the airport,” Mulvaney adds.

US Airways held Roe’s and Mulvaney’s flight back to Washington until the man was ready to be transported to the hospital; Roe stayed with him until he was stable.

A spokeswoman for Roe told TheDC that the last time his staff spoke with officials in Charlotte, the word was that the man, who was stable when paramedics brought him to the hospital, would make a full recovery.

Roe regularly catches connecting flights in Charlotte while travelling between his Tennessee district and Washington, D.C.

Local emergency officials have not returned TheDC’s requests for comment or more information.

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