Heart of a lifesaver

Klamath Falls, Ore. – An aide at a Klamath Falls drug and alcohol treatment center is alive today, thanks to the quick actions by one of the staff nurses.

Cyndy Anderson says she briefly fainted on her shift at Best Care December 20th.  “I called one of our little detox nurses, Ashley, who was working with me, and I asked her if she would come down and take my vitals.”

“I did so, and they were frightening.”  Recalls nurses assistant Ashley Spillane.  “Her pulse was 28.”

Spillane notified the on call doctor, and supervisor – who both told her to call an ambulance.

Clinical Supervisor Joe Allred was working that night at Best Care.  “Based on the reports of the pulse rate, at 28 beats per minute, I thought, ‘how are you even talking to me?”

NBC5 asked nurse Spillane if she’d ever seen a heart rate that low in a living human.  “No – (laughs) – I would not consider that living.”

Cyndy Anderson was taken to the emergency room, and outfitted with a pacemaker just before Christmas.

“I’m not on any meds.”  Notes Anderson.  “I just feel fantastic.”

Joe Allred says Best Care staff are proud of Ashley Spillane’s actions.  “Proud of her that she responded quickly, and calmly.”

“She did save my life.”  Adds Cyndy Anderson.  “She is my angel on Earth.”

And an emotional Ashley says she’s just glad she could help.  “I’ve helped many clients – but it really touches your heart when you get to do it for somebody you care about.”

Staffers at Best Care say that even during the emergency, Cyndy Anderson’s first thoughts were of the clients – as she was worried they’d be upset if they saw her being taken away in an ambulance.

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