Heart attack victim saved by quick help | AspenTimes.com

Heart attack victim saved by quick help

Dear Editor:On May 7 my husband suffered cardiac arrest in the parking lot of Clark’s Market. On that day our families lives were touched by some very special people who came to his aid.The first person to see Gary passed out and bleeding in the parking lot was Steve Sklar of The Grill Next Door. He called 911, yelled for help and started CPR. Scott (I’m sorry, I don’t know your last name) was passing by when he heard Steve calling for help and aided in administering CPR. Steve said you really knew what you were doing. Within minutes the Aspen Police Department arrived (Melinda Calvano, Gary Kalkman, Rick Magnuson and Chip Seamans). Dave (Wabs) Walbert of The Red Onion was on his way to Clark’s when he got the call from fire chief Darryl Grob. After arriving Dave took over CPR from Steve and Scott. Although Gary never started breathing on his own these men kept him alive until the EMT team got there. Flint Smith and Steve Ramsey placed a breathing tube down his throat, administered some medication to get his heart fibrillating and then used a defibrillator to get his heart beating. They had to shock Gary four or five times before his heart responded. Then Flint and Steve transported Gary to Aspen Valley Hospital where the dedicated doctors and nurses stabilized him enough to be airlifted to University of Colorado Hospital in Denver. But that was another journey.So now I have the daunting task of trying to find the words to express my (our) thanks to the people who saved Gary’s life. How do you say “thank you” to people (at one time strangers) without whose help I would be without my life partner, and our son of 10 would be without a father. All of you have touched our hearts in a very profound way that will never be forgotten. We are truly blessed to live in such a loving caring community.Once again, “thank you” hardly seem adequate. May God bless you and your families. Gary is well on his way to a full recovery, thanks to his Aspen angels! One day we hope to say those words to each of you in person.Daylene, Gary and Trent LichtenwalterAspen