Blackfoot man travels to save woman’s life

NEWPORT, Ore. — Vacations, by their very nature, are supposed to calm, relaxing times when the work-a-day blues melt into enjoyment and delightful experiences. Having to save a person’s life rarely figures into the equation, but for David Key, a Blackfoot resident (and member of the BHC Class of ’85), this was exactly what happened.
We pick things up on July 17, when Earl Baker and his wife, Debbie, traveled to Florence, Ore. on a camping trip with several high school friends. After a week of camping, they pulled their RV to a park in Lincoln City just to relax and enjoy the ocean.
“On July 23, we decided to drive to Newport, Ore. to have lunch and enjoy the fisherman’s wharf,” Baker said.
“Traffic on Highway 101 and in Newport was bumper to bumper, and there were people everywhere. We couldn’t find parking at the wharf so we decided to travel back into Newport. It took almost 30 minutes to get downtown. As we looked for a place to eat, all of the restaurants and fast food facilities were packed with people, many of them waiting outside for tables.” 
Baker indicated that his wife decided to just stop at a Subway sandwich, so they proceeded to have lunch. Afterwards, he heard her say, “I feel …” her next word being, “faint,” when her head hit the table.
“I ran over to her side of the booth, lifted her head only to realize she was not breathing, and, by checking her pulse, found there to be no heartbeat,”he said. “I called for the restaurant clerk to call 911, and, at the same time, with the help from another man, laid her out on the floor. Again, checking her pulse and breathing, and still nothing. I tried to open her mouth and airway, but could not hold her head and mouth open at the same time.
“Suddenly, a man appeared and basically pushed me out of the way, stating he was from Idaho, on vacation with his family who was CPR-qualified and he would attempt, with my permission, to revive her. Immediately, he began doing CPR and his daughter (I later learned) opened my wive’s airway. Together they both worked with her for more than eight minutes before the Newport Paramedics and DFD arrived.”
The people, as it turned out, were Braxton Meecham (who helped lie the victim on the ground), Ashly Meecham and her father, David Key, who just happened to be at the Subway restaurant by sheer coincidence. “We were also on vacation and had been at another restaurant waiting for a table when we decided to walk across the road to Subway,” said Key, who works at Intec at…

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