PHILADELPHIA – He was not wearing traditional physician’s gear, but a Philadelphia area doctor helped save the life of a football fan who fell and stopped breathing during an Eagles game on Sunday.
Vincent Basile was decked out in his pink and blue Mummers outfit from Philadelphia’s New Year’s Day parade when his girlfriend alerted him to a man in distress during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Basile, an emergency room doctor at Einstein Medical Center, ran to help, but first had to convince fans and the nurse attending the man that he really was a doctor.
He arrived at the scene in his sunglasses, a leopard-print bandana, and the rainbow still painted on his face, according to the newspaper. He found a man tangled in a guardrail turning blue in the face.
“The next thing you know, a guy in a pink dress is running up next to me,” Natalie Spencer, 41, a nurse who was at the game with her 6-year-old son and was the first person to reach the injured man, told WPVI-TV.
“I said, ‘Hey, I know I don’t look like it, but I’m an emergency medicine doctor,’” Basile told the television station.
Spencer, who was in full Eagles gear, had been trying to get people to help her move the man onto his back, the Inquirer reported. The man’s body weight was entirely on his head at the bottom of the stairs in the section where Spencer had been sitting, according to the newspaper.
She looked up when Basile arrived.
“The first thing I had to do was convince everyone I actually was a doctor,” Basile told the Inquirer. “It’s not a typical outfit I had on compared to the scrubs I’m normally wearing.”
The man did not have a pulse, but after a few minutes of performing CPR, his color returned and he regained consciousness, WPVI reported. What he saw must have confused him.
“I doubt the first thing you expect to see is a Mummer with face paint on wearing pit viper glasses,” Basile told the television station.
The man’s first question was game-related.
“The first thing that came out of that guy’s mouth as he was kind of waking up a little bit — and I don’t think he remembers — but he asked what score the game was,” Basile told the Inquirer.
That was the bad news. The New Orleans Saints were winning and would eventually defeat the Eagles 20-10.
“It’s the most Philly thing to happen,” Basile told WPVI.
Spencer said she hoped to connect with the man, who was hospitalized. She said it was fortunate that medical personnel — albeit wildly dressed — were in the vicinity.
“To have a nurse and a doctor and an ER doctor both within rows of him, if he was going to collapse, it happened at the right place,” Spencer told the Inquirer.
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