Roe meets Wade after heart-stopping introduction

Tuesday , March 18, 2014 - 11:17 AM

Elijah Herington

WASHINGTON --Nearly five months after their first encounter, Tennessee Republican Rep. Phil Roe -- a doctor -- met impromptu patient Terry Wade again Wednesday morning.

Their first encounter was in the Charlotte, N.C., airport in September.

As Roe walked to his gate, the former obstetrician heard calls for a doctor and immediately responded. He saw a man lying on the floor, gasping for breath. Roe and another passerby administered CPR, and they waited for an emergency medical team to hook up a defibrillator to restart Wade's heart.

Roe left the man in the team's care -- uncertain of his name or whether he would survive -- and raced to catch his Washington-bound flight. US Airways was holding the jetliner for him.

After Roe's return, a police officer called to tell him it appeared the patient would live.

Wade -- a 52-year-old consultant from Columbia, S.C. -- later reached out to the congressman to thank him, said Roe's communications director, Amanda Little.

Wade also asked whether he might bring his family to visit Roe.

"I don't know what you say about someone who saved your life," Wade said by phone, after he and Roe reconnected on Capitol Hill. "He is a wonderful, genuine person (who) obviously cares about others."

Wade said he was grateful for Roe's unhesitating aid to a stranger, because "there's not a lot of people (who) would do that."

The consultant said he has since changed his eating and exercise habits.

Roe said he was glad to see Wade, his wife and their three children. He'd already met Wade's older son, James, in November while giving a speech on health care at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. James is a student there.

Roe gave the family a tour of the Capitol and took Wade's 10-year-old son, Jonathan, onto the House floor for a vote.

"It was a good day in Washington for me," Roe said.

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service,

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