A Portland man who suffered a heart attack was rescued by his dog, Ceili, who is nominated for a national hero award. The 15-year-old Lab-mix noticed that the 62-year-old North Portland man was feeling unwell and pestered him to get help before his heart attack.
“She was driving me nuts,” the man said.
Ceili pestered the man throughout the day and even nipped as his shoes to prevent him from climbing stairs immediately before the heart attack. The man attempted to crawl up the stairs when he suffered the heart attack but Ceili tugged him down and then darted to the room where his wife was watching television.
Ceili then ran back and forth between the man and his wife while barking furiously, The Associated Press reports. Ceili continued running until the man’s wife discovered him and called an ambulance. The man received treatment within 20 minutes of his heart attack due to Ceili’s efforts.
The man and his wife, who live on monthly Social Security disability payments, had considered putting the elderly dog down because they could not afford the expensive vet bills or senior dog food. The Portland couple eventually found a food bank for owners with limited means which helped them keep Ceili alive.
The man’s wife said she grateful for finding the food bank because she would have found her husband “stone-cold dead” without the dog’s assistance.
The couple is among millions of Americans who rely on Social Security disability payments to support themselves. Social Security disability insurance benefits are available to American workers who have worked and thereby paid into the nation disability insurance system.
These workers are eligible to receive benefits if they become disabled to the point that they cannot work before retirement age. Disabled workers who are over the age of 50 have a somewhat easier time receiving benefits because the Social Security Administration and Congress acknowledge that older workers have unique challenges that may be more severe due to their age.
Source: Associated Press, “Ore. dog got help for owner after heart attack,” Lynne Terry, 3/11/11