Camas COVID patient rescued via toboggan during storm


Group use sled to move patient 500 yards

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — KOIN 6 News recently received video that shows how a group was able to rescue a stranded COVID-19 patient in Camas during last week’s storm.

A man in his 50s had come down with the virus and was in “bad shape” on Monday, February 15, according to his wife. That day, longtime City of Camas plow driver Scott Purkeypyle said he got a call from firefighters who needed his help immediately.

Purkeypyle and some City of Camas workers used the city’s largest blow and started clearing the man’s long and steep driveway. However, for the the first time in a quarter century, the plow got stuck, according to Purkeypyle.

The crew jumped out and hiked in the deep snow all the way to the top of the hill where the house was. According to Purkeypyle, the COVID patient was delirious and unable to walk. So, his wife offered the group their old toboggan.

“They wanted us there and I was glad to knock on that door,” said Purkeypyle. “I could see it in her eyes. We did the best we could she said she had a sled out in the barn, and she said check on the sheep when we were there! So we did [and the] baby sheep were ok. [Then] we got [the man] all strapped in and away we rolled.”

Purkeypyle and his crew carefully slid the patient about 500 yards down the hill. They used ropes to make sure that the sled didn’t get away from them. An ambulance was waiting at the bottom of the driveway and was able to get the man to a hospital where he has been in quarantine since.

KOIN 6 News checked with the man on Tuesday. He has since tested negative for the coronavirus and has left the hospital.

The man’s wife said she was incredibly grateful to Purkeypyle and everyone involved in the rescue.

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