By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
OMAHA, Neb. — Dr. Jerry Poche’ just did what any real-life hero would’ve done if called into action while watching his son’s team play in the College World Series Finals.
Save a life.
“It’s what I’m trained to do,” Dr. Poche’ said. “Instincts kick in and you do what you’ve got to do.”
The father of Jared and a long-time family physician, Dr. Poche’ sprang into action Monday night when an elderly Florida fan collapsed from a heart attack on the concourse level in the sixth inning.
Kellie Freeman, Cole’s mother, came yelling for the LSU parents section’s resident medical practitioner. By the time Dr. Poche’ got to his side, the man was unresponsive and didn’t have a pulse.
“I’m thinking to myself, he’s dead,” Dr. Poche’ recalled.
Along with Jimmy Roy, a long-time firefighter and father of LSU strength and conditioning coach Travis, he began to administer CPR. Dr. Poche’ started chest compressions immediately while Roy providing mount-to-mound resuscitations.
“He’s the hero,” Dr. Poche’ said of Roy. “He had to give mouth to mouth. I was just doing chest compressions.”
By the time paramedics arrived, they’d revived the man. He’d regained conscious and was taken to the hospital. The paramedics later called Dr. Poche’ to let him know the man was stable and his condition has since been upgraded to good.
It’s not the first time Dr. Poche’ has revived somebody at a sporting event, either. He recalled performing CPR on someone in the Louisiana Superdome at a high school championship game about 20 years back.
Another wild twist in what’s been quite the exhilarating vacation for the mild-mannered physician from Lutcher. Earlier this College World Series, he tended to a fan who took a hard-hit foul ball directly off his forehead.
“He had a big old egg on his head,” Dr. Poche’ said. “Biggest thing is I just jumped out and made sure it didn’t splatter his forehead.”
That’s not to mention seeing his son tie and subsequently set the LSU program record for career victories.
Dr. Poche’ has been inundated with interview requests from local and national outlets since the story broke late Monday night.
While he loathed to take the spotlight off his son, who’ll try to save LSU’s season on Tuesday night against Florida — a far less consequential rescue assignment in the grand scheme of things — he agreed to meet with a large throng of media on Tuesday afternoon at the team hotel.
“It’s a little intimidating; overwhelming,” Dr. Poche’ said of the attention, “but it is what it is. It comes with the territory.”
Talk about Vintage Poche’.