Former WMU President Diether Haencike was hospitalized following a heart attack.
Bystanders aid former WMU president
KALAMAZOO -- Former Western Michigan University President Diether Haenicke continued his recovery late Monday at Bronson Methodist Hospital, thankful, his wife said, for the quick reactions of the people who came to his rescue when he collapsed as he spoke at a retirement dinner on campus Friday night.
Haenicke, 73, who has a history of heart problems, fell to the floor at the Fetzer Center on campus where he was speaking following a retirement dinner for three members of the mathematics faculty, said Cheryl Roland, WMU's executive director of university relations.
Scott C. McLaughlin, a WMU junior from St. Clair Shores and a bartender/server at the Fetzer Center, said he was in the hallway when "somebody came out of the door and told me someone had collapsed.''
The exercise-science major and trained Red Cross instructor said he ran to the front desk and told the receptionist to call 911, then grabbed an automated external defibrillator next to the front desk and returned to the dining area, where he found two people performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Haenicke.
McLaughlin said he hooked Haenicke up to the AED, which administered a shock to restart his heart, and then the other two -- identified by Haenicke's wife, Carol, as Paul Eenigenburg, one of the retirees being honored, and Carol Channell, a nurse and wife of a faculty member -- continued CPR.
"After we shocked him and they went through a few more (CPR) cycles, he started breathing again,'' said McLaughlin, who said he had never used an AED in an emergency situation before. "By the time he was breathing again, the paramedics arrived so they took over from there.
"It was definitely a team effort,'' he said. "A lot of people came ... to his rescue.''
Carol Haenicke said her husband experienced cardiac arrest, or sudden stoppage of the heart, often the result of arrhythmia.
He also hit his head on the floor and suffered a laceration when he fell, but his wife said that injury was not serious.
Haenicke, who writes a weekly column for the Kalamazoo Gazette, was president of WMU from 1985 to 1998 and interim president in 2006-07.
His history of heart problems dates back to bypass surgery in 1982 when he was provost at The Ohio State University.
He suffered minor heart attacks in 1995 and 1999 and underwent an angioplasty, a balloon-dilation procedure, in 1998 to clear restricted heart valves.
Carol Haenicke said although her husband is "doing fine,'' he asks that people refrain from visiting him while he continues his recuperation.