Red Cross recognizes Damascus man for heroics


The American Red Cross honored Damascus resident Brent Leong as a hero during its Fred Meyer Breakfast of Champions on Tuesday, March 15, because of Leong's assistance in saving a high school student's life.

The Red Cross' signature event, which held at the Oregon Convention Center, recognized those who jumped into action during an emergency and used their skills and smarts to save lives. All funds raised at the event will go to support disaster relief.

Leong, an Oregon City High School teacher, was teaching a robotics class May 17 when student Brandon Holicky, 16, suddenly fell to the ground. When he could find no sign of a pulse or breath, Leong began to perform CPR on Holicky with the help of security officer Bobby Bates.

Once paramedics arrived, they used the school's automated external defibrillator on Holicky and put him in an induced coma to prevent brain damage. Holicky was taken to Oregon Health and Science University and given a pacemaker. It's still unknown why he collapsed.

Others were honored at the ceremony including Missy, an 11-year-old dachshund who alerted a neighbor when her owner, Charlie Burdon, collapsed in his bedroom after a vertigo attack; and the Kaiser Permanente African American Professional Association, which started an annual blood drive to collect more donations from African-Americans.

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