Woman helps governor save overdose victim

Woman helps governor save overdose victim

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by Mike Benner, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 6:12 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 7 at 12:43 PM

PORTLAND, Ore --- What Laura Schmidt witnessed on Monday evening will stick with her forever. She was sitting in traffic near SW 13th and Main in downtown Portland.

"I saw this homeless guy just shaking this woman," said Schmidt. "He was slapping her in the face."

The man told Schmidt that he and the woman had just shot up heroin. The woman had a pulse, but she was not breathing. The man gave the woman mouth-to-mouth. Schmidt started chest compressions.

"Why is nobody else stopping," Schmidt asked herself. "I said a quick prayer."

That prayer was answered. A man showed up and introduced himself as a first responder. It was Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. He pulled out a manual resuscitator.

"She was unconscious and really blue," said Kitzhaber. "I just secured her airway and breathed for her."

With hypodermic needles littering the ground around him, Kitzhaber worked on the woman until paramedics arrived.

"I didn't really think about it until afterwards," said Kitzhaber. "I am delighted she was okay."

Schmidt was thankful that Kitzhaber showed up when he did.

"Had he not been there she wouldn't have made it," said Schmidt.

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