The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Health & Fitness

October 22, 2012

Local doctor, business leader help kids in China hear again



Pearson said she dealt with patients of all ages. But it was the children she’ll remember most.

“The kids are the most dramatic,” she said. “They either cry because they’ve never heard before, or they laugh.”

She said she likes her job at Mayo. But sometimes it takes an experience far beyond what is normal to recharge a person’s batteries. She said she loved the uncommon sense of accomplishment she felt doing this work, and “the fact that you know you’re changing their lives.”

Those weren’t the only lives she changed.

Even before she got to China, Pearson’s skills were required in a potentially life and death situation.

On the plane ride over, the pilot’s voice came on the speakers asking, “Is there a doctor or nurse on board?”

She raised her hand and was called into action for a man who, in all likelihood, was having a heart attack.

Pearson examined the man, who was en route to Tokyo, and asked the airplane staff if they had an automatic electronic defibrillator. They did and they hooked it up. Before zapping him, though, she had the man lay on the floor and elevated his feet. This stabilized his heart and negated the need to shock him.

For the rest of the flight, she stayed with the man until they landed in Japan, where paramedics took over.

Pearson said she’s not sure what would have happened to the man, but in theory, it could have been the worst.

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