Tonight, John Kitzhaber and Bill Bradbury were speaking at a debate sponsored by the University of Oregon College Democrats, attended by about 150 students. Live video of the debate was streamed online by the Bradbury campaign.
Midway through the debate, during a discussion about higher education, suddenly someone in the crowd called out, "Is there a doctor in the house?" Governor Kitzhaber, an emergency room doctor, jumped from the stage and ran into the crowd.
I spoke to Jeff Scroggin, the UO Dems president, about what happened.
Scroggin was near the older man, whom he described as a "regular at free college events", when he fell to the ground and started "frothing blood at the mouth, having a real bad seizure".
Dr. Kitzhaber "ran over, took his jacket off, and started giving him first aid" keeping his airways clear and helping him breathe. Paramedics arrived and took the man to the nearby hospital. As they were loading the man into an ambulance, a paramedic told the students that the man "going to be OK."
After a 21-minute interruption, the debate resumed. Bill Bradbury greeted Kitzhaber back to the stage with a thumbs up and applause. After the first post-interruption question (on prison reform), Bradbury said, "I just want to say that I think John has just shown he was in fact a remarkable emergency room doctor; able to give such a great answer after dealing with that [incident]."
Watch via the Bradbury2010 video stream. The debate is interrupted at 1:37 - and restarts again at 1:58.
I've heard that KEZI and a UO videographer were also on site. I'll post more video and info when it becomes available.
One more note about the debate, that Jeff Scroggin asked me to mention: The debate was entirely student-run and student-financed. It was called the Tony Kaminski Memorial Debate - in honor of last year's UO College Dems president, who died in January in a car accident, shortly after enlisting in the military.
As Scroggin noted, I'm sure Tony would have been proud of tonight's debate. Lots of students, good questions, and a little drama.
Update, 12:30 a.m.: David Steves at the Register-Guard covers the incident - as well as the substance of the debate. Read it here.
Update: 1:45 p.m.: KGW has posted raw video of the first few seconds of Kitzhaber running into the audience.