“On the morning of June 3, Doug Pogue went for what seemed to be a routine walk.
The longtime football coach at Chaffin Junior High then was going to head to the school to conduct a routine off-season practice.
But all of a sudden, during his walk up a hill on 89th Street, something happened. Something that Pogue to this day can’t recall.
‘I got up early that morning because we had football up here,’ Pogue said recently from his office at Chaffin. “We had practice that morning, so I got up early to walk.
‘My block is a half-mile but I can go up the street and I can make it about a two-mile walk. I got about a little ways through it and then I vaguely remember it.’
Something happened that made Pogue fall, and land on the back of his head on the pavement.
For 26 minutes, Pogue was without a continuous heartbeat. He was on the verge of perhaps even passing away.
But someway, somehow, Pogue pulled through.
Someone who happened to be there at the right time because she was running late.
‘I was just going to get my child; he had stayed at my parents’ house the night before, and in the summer, we were normally training at the gym around 7:30 (a.m.) every day, so I was going to pick him up and I was running late that morning,’ Fort Smith resident Emily Starr said.
‘I kind of had to go back to the house to get something I had forgotten, and I came up the hill in the neighborhood I was in and I just saw him laying in the street. So I jumped out of my car.’
Starr immediately recognized Pogue, because he had coached Starr’s oldest son.
‘I didn’t know it was him at first; I thought it was just someone who had fallen,’ Starr said. ‘But then I realized who it was and I was in shock. … He was just making these odd sounds.’
‘I honestly thought that maybe he was having a seizure, so I just kind of panicked and I don’t know, I called 9-1-1 and was just hoping he was going to be OK.’
For the next several minutes, it was a whirlwind of emotions for Starr as a crowd quickly gathered around her and Pogue.
‘I really don’t know everything that happened, I just know a few people stopped and I showed one of the ladies where he lived to get his wife (Marsha) so she could come up and respond to him and whatever,’ Starr said.
‘I had the man that was there with me check his pulse while I was trying to show this lady where he lived and trying to figure out what’s going on. … It was the most terrifying, or one of them, situations I had ever been in my life, and he was just there making these odd sounds. Then when I’m on the phone (with 9-1-1), he goes totally limp and turns blue and then I really started panicking.’
Starr was just certain Pogue was going to pass away.
‘I had watched him die,’ Starr said. ‘I mean, he went from having color to conscious to making sounds. … Then he instantly started turning purple and blue and I really started freaking out.’
‘I just kept telling them, “Please hurry, please tell me what to do.”’
Then another miracle happened. That’s when the fire truck showed up.
‘Right at that moment, the fire truck came and they started trying to bring him back and trying to stabilize him,’ Starr said.
‘Thank God the fire truck came right then and they jumped out and responded.’
Pogue was immediately transported to a local hospital, where he remained in a coma for more than a week.
His two children, son Dax and daughter Shaunna Warren, immediately stopped what they were doing and traveled to see their father. In fact, Dax, who lives in Georgia, just happened to catch the last flight Delta Air Lines had from Atlanta to Fort Smith before suspending service.
Meanwhile, there were constant updates on social media regarding Pogue’s condition. A vigil was also set up at Chaffin.”
View the whole story here: https://www.swtimes.com/sports/20201126/miracle-and-second-chance