‘BYE BYE, BIRDIE’
Longboat key library Arts Center
a bevy of bonnets
Volunteers enjoy great tunes, food and views.
The Daughters of the American Revolution bring out their best for a luncheon at BKYC. Page 2A+
closes its season series with some smooth jazz and broadway favorites.
You. Your neighbors. Your neighborhood.
THURSDAY, APRIL 13, 2006
by Kat Wingert | Community Editor Jim Allan, center, is reunited with his rescuers, Suzanne Dubose and Gary Jodat, April 11 at a luncheon honoring them.
A Matter of Time Selfless acts lead to a rescue on New Pass.
It was a clear, sunshine-filled Florida day, when Jim Allan decided to go for a bike ride. He began mid-morning on his normal route, from his Bird Key home up to the northern tip of Longboat Key, about 25 miles round trip. Nearing the end of his ride on his way home, he started up the incline of the New Pass Bridge. It’s the last thing he remembers about Feb. 19. At about the same time Allan strapped on his helmet for his ride that morning, Suzanne Dubose began her run from Marina Jack’s parking lot. A registered nurse at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Dubose has always been big on fitness, and was training for the Sarasota Marathon March 4. Skipping church to get some miles in, she planned to run to Ken Thompson Park on City Island and back. Feeling good that morning, after she made it to the park, Dubose decided to push a little farther north before turning around to start her run back. She turned the corner of Ken Thompson Parkway, when she saw someone lying on the ground on the west side of the New Pass Bridge. Seeing three anglers on the bridge rushing to help, she ran toward what appeared to be a fallen bicyclist on the side of the road. Luckily, one of the anglers had a cell phone and dialed 9-1-1. She put her fingers to the fallen bicyclist’s neck trying to find a pulse in the carotid artery. Nothing. She then reached for his wrist when she realized she wasn’t thinking clearly: If his neck didn’t have a pulse, his wrist certainly wouldn’t have one. It was then, looking down at Allan, with a bloodied face from breaking teeth in the
fall from his bike, that she realized he would need CPR.
It was Gary Jodat’s wife’s birthday. The couple was in the car on Longboat Key, heading down to Boca Grande to celebrate. As Jodat, a local attorney, drove south over the rise of the New Pass Bridge, he noticed a group of people gathered on the right side of the road, in the shoulder between the white line and the bridge’s concrete barrier. “Do you think we should stop?” Jodat asked his wife, who told him to stop and help. He pulled his Jeep to the side of the road on the south end of the bridge, walked up the incline and saw Dubose checking Allan for a pulse. As a former volunteer firefighter 25 years ago in Seekonk, Mass., Jodat told Dubose he would do the compressions while she did the breathing. Braving the risk that confronted her with the exposure of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, Dubose asked the anglers for something to wipe Allan’s face off. One of them took off his shirt and handed it to her. Using the shirt to pinch Allan’s nose, Dubose worked to push air into his lungs, as Jodat alternated the cycle of compressions. Within a few cycles of CPR, the ambulance arrived and EMTs loaded Allan up. Although it happened quickly, a crowd of people emerged to help, including a man who lived nearby, offering everyone water and the use of his home to clean off. The emergency vehicles left, and Jodat got back into the car with his wife. Realizing there was nothing more they could do, they decided to continue with their plans to
go to Boca Grande. After getting cleaned up, Dubose’s worry shifted from Allan to herself. As a single mother with a 5-year-old at home, she began to think about the risk she had just taken. Before she began CPR she had looked at his expensive bike and his riding clothes, and realized they meant nothing; they couldn’t tell her whether he was healthy or not. She got so caught up, she forgot to ask for a ride, so she began the long run back to the Marina Jack parking lot.
Later in the afternoon, both Jodat and Dubose received calls that Allan was alive. He had suffered a major heart attack. “At the time of the incident, we didn’t know what was wrong with him,” Dubose said. “We thought at first that he fell off his bike or was hit by a car.” Dubose said when she first saw him, she remembered being glad to see that he was obviously active and in good shape. “He had a lot of good things going for him,” Dubose said. “It wasn’t just us around him, either; there were a lot of people who helped him that day.” According to the doctors at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the best things Allan had going for him were Jodat and Dubose. After Allan awoke on Tuesday from being heavily sedated the previous two days, the doctors told him anyone whose heart stops outside a hospital has about a 3% chance of survival. Without receiving CPR when he did, Allan most likely would have died, or, at best, sustained brain and/or heart damage.
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