[Hpn] Two Nurses Will Be Honored For Saving Homeless Man's Life

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Sat, 8 Oct 2005 09:52:59 -0400


http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/local/051008nurses.shtml

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Two nurses will be honored for saving homeless man's life

By TOM BELL, Staff Writer

Copyright  2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

Two nurses who saved a homeless man's life in March will receive Portland's 
Good Samaritan Award today from the Portland Fire Department.
Julie Baither and Peggy Akers, nurses at the Healthcare for the Homeless 
Clinic on Portland Street, are being recognized for helping Michael Powers, 
35, after his throat was slashed during a confrontation outside the clinic.
Baither, 38, of Westbrook, said she and Akers were eating lunch when someone 
ran into the clinic shouting that a man had been stabbed.
Baither said she and Akers ran to the street and saw Powers on the pavement, 
bleeding. The jugular vein in his neck had been sliced.
Left untreated, he would have been dead in three to five minutes, she said.
She said she pressed both hands hard against the artery to stop the 
bleeding, while Akers kept his head still and tried to calm him.
Akers, who lives in Portland, had worked as an Army nurse during the Vietnam 
War.
Baither said she's not sure how long they waited for the ambulance.
"It seemed like forever," she said, adding that it was probably just a few 
minutes.
She said she never took the pressure off Powers' neck until her hands were 
replaced by those of a firefighter.
As Powers was rushed to a hospital in an ambulance, she said, the 
firefighter continued to press his hand against the vein and did not release 
the pressure until emergency room doctors took over.
"I'm wondering why everybody is making a big deal out of it," she said. "Of 
course I did what I did. There was nothing else to do."
She kept her emotions in check until the incident was over.
"It's a struggle afterwards," she said. "It was hard to get the picture of 
his face out of my mind at times."
She said Powers was released the following day and came to the clinic to 
thank her and Akers.
She said other members of the staff helped out during the incident, 
including Kelly McCarthy, another nurse.
Baither and Akers will be honored at 4 p.m. at the Portland High School 
Auditorium.
Staff Writer Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at: 
tbell@pressherald.com