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Two men awarded life-saver honor

Men didnt hesitate to perform CPR at Tigard library


by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - At nearly 7 feet tall, Paul Teyler, left, rarely has to look up anyone. But his life was recently saved by Sean Garvey, right, a librarian at the Tigard Public Library, who helped give him CPR after he had a heart attack in January. A Tigard man is alive, thanks to two local men who stepped into action after he suffered a heart attack last month at the Tigard Public Library.

The two men will be presented with a lifesaving award at a special event Friday at 4 p.m. in Tigard City Hall.

When Paul Teyler awoke in his hospital bed at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, he had one thought.

“How could this happen?” He asked his daughter Karin Teyler. “I’m healthy.”

Teyler has always taken good care of himself. On the morning of Jan. 25, the 63-year-old pastor jogged from his home in Tigard to the Tigard Public Library — something he does every week.

Teyler said he felt fine until he sat down on the library’s second floor to read a magazine. Then he blacked out.

He fell to the floor, his heart had stopped, and he wasn’t breathing.

He was having a heart attack.

Sean Garvey, a librarian in Tigard since 2007, was at the nearby reference desk when he heard a patron shout that something was wrong.

“She was so excited, I knew something was really wrong,” Garvey recalled. “I told my colleague to call 911.”

Garvey completed city-mandated CPR and emergency preparedness training less than a week earlier and quickly sprang into action.

“When I got to (Teyler) someone was already helping him. I told him I was trained in CPR, and he looked at me and said, ‘I’m a doctor.’”

The doctor, Hillsboro neurosurgeon Bruce Powell, began hands-only CPR and told Garvey to grab the library’s on-site automated external defibrillator, known as an AED.

Working together, the two men were able to keep Teyler alive until paramedics arrived within minutes and were able to take him to Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center.

“Everyone did exactly what they needed to do,” Garvey said.

Doctors later told Teyler that although he worked to take care of himself, one of his arteries was 95 percent blocked.

Teyler spent a week in the hospital. He said it will likely be several months before he is able to return to his regular jogging routine.

Today, Teyler is well on his way to a full recovery, and he wants to thank the two men for their selfless actions.

“About 15 percent of heart attacks are like mine, where there is no pain before, no forced breathing, but those 15 percent normally don’t survive,” Teyler said. “And I wouldn’t have either, if it hadn’t been for Dr. Powell and Sean.”

Karin Teyler said the day after her father was released from the hospital, he wanted to go back to the library and thank Garvey and Powell for what they had done.

“It was the first thing he wanted to do,” Karin said. “We went in and met Sean, and he said, ‘The last time I was here, I got carried out of here. This time I’d like it if you walked me out the door.”

Teyler was lucky to have both a doctor and CPR-trained librarian on hand when he collapsed.

Jim Wolf, a spokesman with the Tigard Police Department, said their swift actions saved Teyler’s life.

“The situation may not have ended as well as it did if not for the quick-thinking and call to action on both men’s part,” Wolf said. “Every minute a person in sudden cardiac arrest goes without CPR or a shock to the heart from an AED, the chance for survival goes down 10 percent.”

Had Teyler’s heart attack happened a week earlier, Garvey said, he would not have been able to react as quickly.

“I would have had to grab someone in charge and ask where the defibrillator was,” Garvey said. “In instances like this, every minute is critical. Luckily, the city had that training the week before. Thank God that training was the week before. It was still fresh in my mind.”

Garvey said the library was going to be purchasing a second AED that would likely be placed on the second floor.

The library’s current defibrillator is located in the main lobby, near the community room.

Karin Teyler said her family is so thankful for what Powell and Garvey did for her father. Several of Teyler’s family and friends plan to attend Friday’s award ceremony.

“My cousin told me that she wasn’t sure if Sean and Dr. Powell will want to come,” Karin Teyler said. “They have a bunch of new best friends that they didn’t even know about.”

The lifesaving award ceremony will be held at Tigard City Hall, 13125 S.W. Hall Blvd., and is open to the public.



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