The last thing Oregon resident Jack Dowty remembers from his Wednesday morning walk was crossing some volleyball courts and stepping onto the pier at Keauhou Bay.
Dowty, a Type 2 diabetic, said he set out for his daily walk – a three-block trek from his condominium off Kamehameha III Road to Keauhou Bay — around 8 a.m. He remembers feeling “fine” before heading out the door while his wife, Merrilee, remained at the condo.
“I woke up in the ambulance on the trip to the hospital,” said Dowty, a Dundee, Ore., resident who for the past 25 years has visited Hawaii Island. “I don’t remember anything.”
Piecing together the morning’s happenings, Dowty learned an anonymous person called 9-1-1 after he apparently collapsed shortly after 8 a.m. in the parking lot area near Fair Winds.
Dowty had apparently been found alone and unconscious with a blood sugar level of 22 — well below the normal 100, he said. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital where he was treated and released within hours.
“The medics told me if it had lasted very much longer I could have died,” Dowty said, explaining that despite years with the condition he has never fainted. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way the body metabolizes sugar, also known as glucose, which is the body’s main source of fuel.
Unable to find out who made the call that Dowty said “saved his life,” he contacted West Hawaii Today on Thursday to express his gratitude to the anonymous caller, medics and Kona Community Hospital personnel.
“I want to make sure that those people know they are appreciated,” Dowty said. “The person that did that call probably saved my life. … You gave me back my life, and I’m forever in your debt.”