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Athletic director hears reporter suffer stroke on phone, summons help

May 03, 2013|By Melissa Rohlin
  • Natalie Meisler had her life saved by a quick-thinking assistant athletic director.
Natalie Meisler had her life saved by a quick-thinking assistant athletic… (Facebook )

Wyoming Assistant Athletic Director Tim Harkins was on the phone with veteran college football reporter Natalie Meisler on Wednesday when she suffered a major stroke.

Harkins heard Meisler's sentences break up and sprung into action. 

It may have saved her life.

He told Wyoming assistant media relations director Amy Dambro to look up Meisler's address. Danbro contacted Colorado State Senior Associate Athletic director Gary Ozzello, who found the address “within less than two minutes,” Ozzello said.

Dambro then called Boulder Police and gave them Meisler's address. She stayed on the phone with Meisler who had stopped talking but was still breathing.

“I could hear [Boulder police] knock on the door and I told Natalie it was the police and the fire department and the ambulance and I told her not to try to get the door,” Dambro told Yahoo!. “I told her they were gonna come in and get her. If you said her name, she responded, because a couple times I was worried she wasn’t there. But then you could hear her breathing.”

Meisler, a former Denver Post reporter for several decades who took a buyout in 2011, lived alone. Rescue workers reportedly had to break down her door to assist her.

As of Wednesday evening, Meisler's condition had improved but she was still in the ICU. 

“If Tim hadn’t been talking to her and we hadn’t done what we had done, how long would she have been there and how much more damage ... or would she have died at that point?” Dambro said. “We don’t know if he wouldn’t have called her and been talking to her, how long it would have been for her.”

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