A LaFollette woman is alive to watch her three children grow up after the work of a Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy and EMS workers.
On Dec. 14, Doris Dople was suffering from an asthma attack when she decided to drive herself to the hospital just before noon.
She doesn’t remember getting in the car.
The next thing Dople knew, she was looking at her oldest son from her hospital bed with a tube in her throat.
“I’m kind of glad I can’t remember because the way they make it sound I wasn’t doing too good. I knew I was bad when I was getting ready to leave,” she said.
Dople was on Knoxville Hollow Road when she passed out from the attack. Her car came to rest on an embankment at the intersection with Old Highway 63. A friend of her son’s was passing by and called 911.
Deputy Franklin Ayers was dispatched to what appeared to be a wreck at 11:38 a.m. He found Dople unconscious in her car. She wasn’t breathing.
“She does have a pulse, and it’s a real fine pulse. At that time I climbed in the car where I performed CPR,” Ayers said. “If you didn’t know what you was checking for, you’d probably think she didn’t have one.”
When the EMTs arrived, they found Dople’s throat had closed.
“Everything had done closed up,” Ayers said.
The friend who called 911 contacted the high school to find Dople’s then 15-year-old daughter, Bailey.
“Sherry Chapman and Shane [Wolfenbarger], the SRO officer there, made sure Bailey got to the hospital,” Dople said. “Shane stayed there with her.”
Ultimately, Lifestar flew Dople to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
“I woke up off and on they said. The first time that I really remember anything is 11:30 that night,” she said.
The EMTs stopped by to visit her the next day, surprised at the difference.
“The EMTs came in and talked to me and just was glad, they were glad to see me ‘cause they didn’t think I was gonna make it,” Dople said.
She was discharged from the hospital two days after arriving.
“I just wanted to be safe at home, after hearing how bad I was, expecially when the EMT came and saw me. He said ‘I just didn’t really think you were gonna be here. I just had to come and see for myself’,” she said.
It was a couple months later when Dople told CCSD Det. John Long she’d like to meet Ayers.
“I wanted just to hug him. He said ‘I wasn’t giving up on you.’ But I actually spoke with somebody from like the rescue squad and she said ‘Franklin just tapped your face and said ‘stay with me, stay with me,’” Dople said.
Ayers was surprised to see Dople.
“She was real excited, she hugged me. She thanked me I don’t know how many times. It was amazing just to see her,” he said. “It was great for me too just to know that she’s doing great now.”
Dople is thankful for Ayers and the other first responders who were there.
“I assure you I’ll never drive myself anywhere in that condition again,” she said. “I’m just thankful for the people that wasn’t giving up on me.”