Friday, February 13, 2015
LEN BESTHOFF- SUPER JOURNALIST SUPER HERO ?
Read the stories, and move on. Hopefully the administration will address the situation and begin doing what we as taxpayers have paid them to do....manage the Hartford Fire Department. In the meantime, keep confidence in the men and women of the HFD. When you call the number for help, there is no one other than the men and women of HFD and HPD that you want showing up on your doorstep.
I can attest to this first hand. On Wednesday night I was the victim of a stroke while driving South on I-91from Enfield to Hartford. Yes your read that right, a stroke while driving on 91. And with the assistance of Hartford's great first responders, I am able in my hospital bed at Saint Francis to write this and with the assistance of a great friend, accustomed to thinking quick on his feet, I am able to be here to write this.
My good friend Len Besthoff from NBC Connecticut, on many days jokes that he seems to talk to me almost as much as he talks to his wife Lindsay. That might be true depending on the story and what we are collaborating on. I know Lindsay does win out though. This past Wednesday was one of those days. Late in the day, Len said he would call me back after the 6PM newscast on his way home once he could get in the car and talk.
He did call back and apparently, immediately realized that something was wrong. I was in the middle of a stroke. My speech was slurred and I guess I wasn't making a lot of sense and yes I know many of you are probably saying "what's new?"
I was almost home and got into my driveway. I have trained Len as one of the best investigative reporters in the area, and he quickly assessed the situation and reacted. (sorry Len, I do need to maintain my humor)
He quickly began making calls trying to get help headed to me. There are quite a few people to thank, and I probably have a couple like the old Dragnet shows... the names have been changed to protect the innocent...but here goes.
Len has a phone full of cops...Hartford Cops. The best way to locate someone is through HPD and that's what he did. First up was Sergeant Sean Spell. If you want to know what's moving in Hartford or where someone is in Hartford....dial Spell. Lt Rob Allan also got involved from his home to pinpoint my address, it is not an easy location to find. Officer Zweibelson was delivering info by cellphone to responding officers to get to me. The Hartford Fire Department was dispatched as the EMS First Responders. If everything was as usual it was Engine 5, but I don't know that for a fact yet.
More first responders, plenty of red and blue lights. An ambulance arrived and I was quickly ushered into the back. Len offered to drive me the couple blocks to Saint Francis. The EMT's quickly put an end to that thought and said they would transport , due to the seriousness of the condition. I guess that was why they were there. Apparently you don't usually realize how serious a stroke is when it is happening to you. Leave it to the professionals.
A special thank you to Chief Rovella and other officers who assisted.
We were only a few blocks from the ER so the quick was trip. I was surprised though that I required lights and siren and I think that might have been the point I realized the seriousness of the situation. The more questions I was asked at the ER, it seemed like the worse my condition got. Luckily Len seemed to get what I was saying and was able to act as my interpreter. I do have to say, whether in the in ER on on my floor ,8th, the staff was very helpful and accommodating.
I hate that MRI though, with technology, there has to be a better way to do that
To all the First responders, including HFD, HPD and AMR ThankYou. To all those that are hearing the rumor I am dead, I am not. It had been suggested that I end the blog to alleviate stress, I think the blog is my stress reliever and I look forward to the positive things it can do.
If nothing else , please try to remember the silent killer that affects out communities. Learn the signs and remember that fast care is the key to survival with the least damage. Remember to resect and thank the vast number of professionals that serve us everyday as residents of Hartford.
For more on St.Francis Hospital and stroke risk, click here