Two Dramas At Death's Door

Susan Rosenbaum | July 17, 1997

Fellow Diners Revive Man At Gosman's

On Tuesday afternoon George Goldstein, 72, was busy trading stocks at his Smith Barney office on Wall Street, almost as though nothing had happened.

Two days earlier, though, he had died - well, nearly so.

It was just before 9 on Sunday evening when Mr. Goldstein and his wife, Ruth, were finishing their meal at Gosman's restaurant in Montauk.

The Goldsteins have visited Montauk on summer weekends for more than 30 years. They stay at the Tipperary Inn, enjoy the beach with their children and grandchildren, and often cap the weekend with dinner at Gosman's before heading home to Forest Hills, Queens.

"He ate, said he felt dizzy, and then said he was fainting," Mrs. Goldstein said Tuesday. "I called for help."

No Pulse

Seated two tables away were Andrew and Kari Lyn Sabin of Amagansett with a group of friends, Ken and Donna Freeman of East Hampton, Ira Bard of Northwest, and his fiancee, Lisa Harner of Connecticut.

Mrs. Sabin said that, hearing calls for help, Ronald Brack, an East Hampton chiropractor, thinking Mr. Goldstein was choking, executed a Heimlich maneuver to expel any food.

Mr. Goldstein did not respond, however. Mr. Bard, a master scuba diver trainer certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, went to see if he could help.

"He was dead," Mr. Bard told The Star Tuesday. "No breathing. No pulse."

First Words

He said a woman who identified herself as a nurse helped him perform C.P.R. After each series of breaths and chest compressions, he checked to see if Mr. Goldstein's chest was expanding and deflating, which it did after the third rescue breath.

Mr. Goldstein's first words were, "I want to go home," said Mr. Bard.

Hearing Mrs. Goldstein's concern, meanwhile, Mr. Bard instructed someone to comfort her. "A lady took care of me," she said. "Everyone was unbelievably nice."

Back At Work

Rita Gosman, a member of the family that owns the restaurant, had called 911, and the Montauk Ambulance Company arrived to transport Mr. Goldstein to the Southampton Hospital emergency room.

Tests indicated no problems, Mrs. Goldstein said, so he was released and the couple went home.

But "he can't sit home," Mrs. Goldstein said Tuesday. Her husband took the subway to Wall Street that morning.

"I probably was overworked," a revived Mr. Goldstein said between trades at his office. "I had walked a lot at the beach and swam, but I felt great."

Generally, he added, "the heat does not agree with me."

Mr. Goldstein acknowledged that he had undergone angioplasty for a minor heart problem about a year ago and said he would take a stress test.

"There were two doctors in the restaurant," said Mrs. Sabin later, "but neither came forward. . . . It's this lawsuit business."

"Not A Hero"

Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein asked The Star for Mr. Bard's name and telephone number, as neither had had a chance to thank the man who saved Mr. Goldstein's life.

"I'm not a hero," said Mr. Bard. "The Lord placed me someplace and I did what I could."

"I was definitely lucky," said Mr. Goldstein. "It's good that he woke me up."