Phil Lawson

cardiac , psl


The morning of September 30, 2014, was a typical day for Pam Lawson and her husband Phil. The couple set out on their daily walk around Cheesman Park. They always started together, but once Pam hit her stride she usually walked a little ahead of Phil. However, after glancing behind her, she noticed Phil was nowhere to be seen.

Pam back tracked and discovered Phil had collapsed on the trail. A bystander who was running in the park helped by performing CPR until the ambulance arrived.

The EMTs determined Phil had suffered a heart attack and the ambulance took him to the emergency department at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center (P/SL). Since several minutes had passed with Phil’s heart stopped, the doctors placed him in a medically induced coma upon arrival in an effort to reduce possible brain damage.

“Phil was in a coma for 24 hours and during that time the staff at P/SL was awesome,” said Pam. “It felt like the nurses were dedicated only to Phil. If any alarms went off, they were right on it. The staff was so comforting, kind, caring and attentive.”

After Phil awoke, he spent several more days in the ICU at P/SL.

“It is the simple, little things that helped us get through this. The staff at P/SL would take time to talk and engage with Phil. Even the people who were changing the sheets and trash were kind to us — every little thing made a difference,” said Pam.

Phil is feeling stronger every day. After a cardiac rehab program, he is back to walking four miles each day and feeling great.

“I would like to thank P/SL and to acknowledge everyone who helped me — from the hospital staff to the administration and especially my ‘CPR angels,’” said Phil.