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‘Guardian angels’ save woman’s life

DALLAS — Inge Daeschel, a WIC dietician who works part time with Polk County Public Health, will be forever grateful she was in Dallas on May 13.    That afternoon, she suffered cardiac arrest at her desk in public health’s Academy Building office. She survived, thanks to the quick action of co-workers Daeschel calls her “guardian angels.”    Dallas Emergency Medical Services (EMS) recognized public health staff members Scott Anderson, Diana Arismendez, Laura Barragan, Jacquline Beal, Alma Chavez, Judy Johnson, Patricia Perez and Cindy Rettler on June 10 with a lifesaving award for their efforts.    Working as a team, they called 911, deployed an AED (automated external defibrillator) and continued CPR until emergency responders from Dallas police, fire and EMS arrived.    “I’ve been blessed,” Daeschel said. “I thank God for the people I work with, and the EMTs, and the cardiac team at Salem Hospital for saving my life,” she said. “This will give me the opportunity to see the last of my four children get married, to see my future grandchildren, to see my son graduate from college, and it spared my family from losing a mother and a wife. For that, I can’t even express the words of thanks.”    Daeschel, who was revived while being rushed to Salem Hospital, is expecting a full recovery.    EMS manager Todd Brumfield said his crew, which was also recognized June 11, was on the scene within six minutes, but without the effort of Daeschel’s colleagues, the outcome might have been dramatically different.    “Even six minutes without CPR, we wouldn’t have an expectation of survival,” he said.    Daeschel said she was supposed to spend that fateful day at her other job at Oregon State University, but changed her schedule to attend an in-service training in Polk County.    “I probably wouldn’t have had such a good outcome because they didn’t have trained staff, trained nursing staff or access to the defibrillator,” she said. “I was lucky to be here.”    Daeschel’s husband, Mark, agreed.    “It was quite an event, but everybody fell into place and we are looking at 100 percent recovery,” he said. “These things, usually it’s 1 in 20 that survive.”    Her co-workers said they were simply glad they knew what to do — and to see her well on the way to recovery during Daeschel’s tear-filled visit last week.    “It was like it was a drill … if you had planned it, you couldn’t have it go better,” said Rettler, who initially started CPR on Daeschel. “I’m so thankful she was here.”    Beal said seeing Daeschel last week was like looking at a miracle.    “When she left, she looked … she was dead. It’s just amazing that she is walking around,” Beal said. “She just looks like Inge. She doesn’t look like she has been through what she had been through. That will replace that last vision I had of her.”    Daeschel now has an internal defibrillator to prevent a similar incident.    “If that happens again, I will just get a jolt and I will be raring to go,” she said, smiling.    Daeschel said she appreciates how lucky she is and is making changes to her priorities.    “I’m cutting back on my job responsibilities, but this is the one job I know I’m coming back to,” she said of the public health post.    “It’s almost like I had a life before (the heart attack) and this is life No. 2. You guys gave me life No. 2. That’s how I feel and I’m living it differently.”    

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