Kauai surgeon in Alaska saves a life

Recently retired general surgeon Dr. Chris Jordan was helping his part-time Kauai neighbor Paul Gauthier bring his motor yacht back from Ketchikan, Alaska, to its home port in Bellingham, Washington.

They stopped in Hakai Pass on the northwest coast of British Columbia to do some fishing and crabbing. Jordan took the owner’s dog to shore for exercise. On board the boat, Gauthier heard a Coast Guard distress call on the radio.

A 73 year old man was having a heart attack after hiking up a small mountain to check on the water supply for his floating lodge.

Gauthier quickly informed the Coast Guard that he had a physician on his crew. An ATV was dispatched to find Jordan on shore and then he was taken by boat to the next island after retrieving his medical kit.

Jordan hiked up the small mountain quickly, all the time thinking that he might have a heart attack himself as there really wasn’t any trail. The patient was treated with nitroglycerin, oxygen and aspirin, and his chest pain subsided.

There was no way to move the patient down the mountainous terrain, so a helicopter was called in.

A small space was cleared of brush and rocks and the landing spot was marked with red blankets.

Somehow the pilot put the helicopter down in the very tight space and the patient was flown to Port Hardy and later to Victoria.

The patient’s son notified Jordan the next day that his dad was stable and that his dad proclaimed that Jordan had saved his life.

Many people on Kauai and abroad who know Jordan confirm he truly embodies the aloha spirit.

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