Apr 26, 2010 10:47 AM by Sharlee Jacobs
ABBEVILLE, La. (AP) - Darline Doxey knows she is lucky to be
alive today after her heart stopped beating twice en route to a
hospital. The 52-year-old Doxey is not going to waste her second
chance at living.
"God did not take me for a reason," Doxey said. "He has a
plan for me."
Doxey was minutes away from refereeing a Biddy basketball game
in the Seventh Ward Elementary gymnasium six weeks ago. She
stretched as she normally does before each game. Then, suddenly,
she fell back, knocked her head on a table and landed on the gym
floor, out cold.
Byron Dozier, a certified athletic trainer, had a haircut
scheduled that afternoon at the same time that Doxey was going to
referee. But he changed the time to help A.A. Comeaux Youth League
with the tournament that was taking place at the elementary school.
That small decision helped save Doxey's life.
Dozier and two other people in the gym administered CPR on Doxey
until first responders arrived.
Her heart stopped beating twice but it was brought back by a
defibrillator that responders used. A defibrillator is a machine
used to shock the victim's heart and restore the heart's normal
rythmic patterns. When a defibrillator is used, it in effect kicks
the heart into action again, causing it to resume sending blood
throughout the body.
Had Doxey passed out at a high school or middle school gym in
Vermilion Parish, a defibrillator was on location in the gymnasium,
but none are in elementary gyms.
"There should be one in all schools," Doxey said. "You never
know when an elementary student's heart may stop beating or a
teacher's heart. They should have defibrillators in all gyms.
"God left me on Earth and I am not sure why, but this may be my
Doxey spent two weeks in ICU and a few days in a regular bed in
a Lafayette hospital. She came home the first week in March and has
slowly gotten her strength back. She lost about three weeks of her
life. She does not remember the week before she passed out and two
weeks while she was in ICU.
One of the first people she went to visit was Dozier. "I cried
when I saw him. I thanked him."
As far as what caused her to pass out and her heart to stop
beating, Doxey said doctors are not 100 percent sure. A heart
muscle was weak, but doctors are not sure why the muscle was weak.
They said it could have been caused by a virus.
Doctors placed her small defibrillator next to her heart just in
case it decides to stop beating. She educated her family on how it
Now she wants to educate the Vermilion Parish School Board and
try to get a defibrillator at every school.
"We need one. Had Byron not been in the gym, I may not be here
today. He saved my life. A defibrillator could have also saved my