Note: When Bob and I first moved to the Central Coast nine years ago, we heard the medical care was lacking. We have NOT found that. We’ve had great care at both French and Sierra Vista Hospitals and all the doctors we’ve encountered. In fact, there was one year that I called the year I did “the doctor dance” with my mother, Pat McKaye. She had some medical issues and we met what became our team of doctors who provided EXCELLENT care. And she is doing great. Her GP, Dr. Heather keeps asking if she is ever going to retire. Not in our genes, I guess. !
So when Jerry May suggested this story to me at the Cayucos Seniors Monthly Potluck, where I take pictures for my mom’s group, I thought it a worthy, well deserved story. And a fine Happy 90th Birthday gift for Jerry. Thank goodness we still have Jerry and Paula May around to enjoy! Here’s their story, the subject of my “By the Bay” column in the San Luis Obispo Tribune, Monday, Feb. 6, 2012.
Jerry May will continue to serve the Cayucos Lions, Cayucos Art Association and Cayucos Seniors after he celebrates his 90th Valentine’s Day birthday this weekend. He and wife Paula weren’t sure he’d make it to 2012.
“I’d like everyone in Cayucos to know our community has excellent first responders. Don’t delay. Call 911 if you have an emergency. They saved my life,” said Jerry. “We’d just come home from our anniversary dinner. I had indigestion, I thought. I fell back into my chair. I only remember Paula screaming at me.”
Paula continued, “I told him I wasn’t going to plan his party without his help. I called 911 at 8:45. They must have been on the roof, because they were here in seconds. I met them because we are in the upstairs back. They put him on oxygen and then the paramedics were here. They asked which hospital. I said his records were at Sierra Vista and we were there by 9:20. They were ready for him. I was told his blood pressure was so low five more minutes and we would have lost him.”
Paula said she learned a few good tips. “Falling in his chair was good. Sitting is better than lying. Don’t drive a spouse to the hospital. Call 911. Jerry would not have made it without immediate care of Cayucos Fire and the EMTs. Don’t drive? The Cayucos Lions or Seniors have people who will drive you to visit your loved one.”
Cayucos Fire Chief Bill Radke said their response averages 2-3 minutes. Cayucos Fire is affiliated with Cal Fire Station 11. “I’ve been with the department long enough to remember when our equipment and training was minimal. Field operations during Viet Nam advanced today’s treatment, transport and even GPS mapping. In Cayucos we are all part time servers, but willing and trained to help our neighbors and community.”
A 911 emergency call is relayed from Sheriff and Cal Fire dispatch simultaneously to Cayucos Fire and Morro Bay’s San Luis Ambulance or Cambria Ambulance. “We arrive to stabilize and treat. Within 5-6 minutes EMTs arrive to treat and recommend transport if needed,” explained Radke. “Cayucos Firemen are trained in basic or advanced life support and available 24/7. Cayucos runs about 255 calls a year.”
For non-emergency help, call 781-2441. Betsy Watts, Cayucos Seniors’ president suggests, “We have emergency information “Vials of Life” magnet kits. Keep updated on the refrigerator. Access to good information can be lifesaving at any age.”
Watts also recommends picking up a resource guide produced by the Area Agency on Aging at the Cayucos Seniors, 200 Ocean Avenue or 995-3543.