Lawmaker collapses on floor of Arizona House - East Valley Tribune: News

Lawmaker collapses on floor of Arizona House

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Posted: Monday, June 5, 2006 3:53 pm | Updated: 2:02 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

PHOENIX - A lawmaker collapsed Monday afternoon on the floor of the Arizona House, prompting colleagues to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation before he was taken away by emergency workers to a hospital.

Rep. Ray Barnes, a 69-year-old Republican from Phoenix, had stopped breathing but resuscitation efforts were successful, said Rep. Ted Carpenter, a retired firefighter who came to his colleague's aid.

It wasn't known whether Barnes, who was listed in stable condition, had suffered a heart attack, said Barrett Marson, a spokesman for House Republicans, describing the lawmaker as alert and awake.

Barnes also was seeing visitors at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center.

While at the Legislature, a monitor had showed Barnes' heart wasn't beating normally. A defibrillator was then used to help restore the rhythm, and his breathing stabilized.

"I felt his heart beating, and he started breathing," said lobbyist Mike Williams, a former emergency medical technician who, along with Carpenter and others, helped resuscitate Barnes.

Barnes was in his chair on the House floor when he appeared to be experiencing an unknown health problem, said Rep. John Allen, who was seated near Barnes.

Before the floor session, Barnes' facial color was ashen. "He was walking very, very slow," said Rep. Bill Konopnicki.

Barnes is in his second term in the Legislature and serves as chairman of the House's environment committee.

Rep. Cheryl Chase, Sen. Robert Cannell and a House page also came to Barnes' aid. Chase is a nurse, and Cannell is a doctor.

Nearly three months ago, Republican Sen. Marilyn Jarrett of Mesa collapsed in her legislative office. The 67-year-old lawmaker died one day later of an apparent stroke.

Democrat Sen. Andy Nichols of Tucson died from a sudden heart attack in his capitol office in April 2001.

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