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EDITOR, Daily News:
Ketchikan is extremely fortunate to have a U.S. Coast Guard base in our community, as well as the excellent medical staff at PeaceHealth.
Monday of this week we were in Kah Shakes Cove, located about 34 miles south of Ketchikan, on our vessel, Lady Crystal. On board we had a guest who was in town for a week of fishing and enjoying the warm weather and our beautiful state. In the cove were two sailing vessels as well, Lady Rose and Alaska Girl. That evening we had an impromptu gathering on Lady Crystal, and the sailboat owners left about 9 p.m. A half hour later our guest became seriously ill, and it was apparent he was suffering a stroke.
We quickly enlisted the help of the other two couples from the sailboats, and the U.S. Coast Guard was contacted. A crew and equipment and medics were assembled by the Coast Guard, and a 45-foot response vessel was launched from Ketchikan to bring our guest into town for medical help. We were able to cut down a little on the time by moving the Lady Crystal out of the cove, and by about 11:30 p.m. our guest was on his way to Ketchikan. PeaceHealth evaluated him, he was medevaced to Seattle, and underwent surgery.
We found out the next morning that he was responding well to the medical treatment, and this afternoon we were told he is talking and regaining feeling in the left side of his body.
We are all so appreciative of the quick response, dedication and professionalism of the USCG crew. His life was literally saved by that quick response, and we will always be grateful to these fine young men and women.
HARLEY and FARREL LEWIS