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|DOCTOR RECALLS TRYING TO SAVE ELVIS IN MEMPHIS E.R.
August 17, 2016 - WTVC / Elvis Express Radio
|Most Elvis Presley fans who are old enough to remember know exactly where they were on August 16th, 1977, the day the world learned the 'King of Rock n' Roll' had died.
Sixty years ago Elvis Presley captivated the world with his chart-topping records, TV appearances, and his first Hollywood movie, and each August thousands of fans continue to
flock to Memphis to remember the legendary performer's life and legacy.
Before the news would reach the nation Dr. Jerry DeVane, a Cleveland, Tenn., Emergency Room physician, would know of music icon's passing.
Dr. DeVane grew up in Whitehaven, near Elvis' home, Graceland, and in 1977 he was working as an acting intern at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis.
Dr. DeVane says, "It was just ending my shift when I heard the call for a code to the emergency room. When I entered the room it was absolutely packed with people."
He knew he needed to act quickly.
"I kind of marched my way around the corner of the room and got to the other side of the gentleman who was doing CPR on Elvis, I didn't know that at the time, and he seemed to be
tiring so I asked him if I could take over for him."
As Dr. DeVane continued with the chest compressions he noticed an unusual piece of jewelry around the patient's neck.
"The gold chain had the letters TCB on it with a lightening bolt."
It was Elvis' trademark insignia, which stood for "Taking Care of Business in a Flash."
He could also see everyone in the room, including Elvis' private-duty nurse.
"I looked at the foot of the bed and saw Dr. George "Nick" Nichopoulos who was pacing there at the foot of the bed and I thought, 'Wow. That looks like Elvis' doctor.'"
But, no one had said the patient's name.
"The Chief Resident was asking questions of the paramedics who had brought him in. He asked them where they picked him up and the paramedics looked at him kind of strange
and said, 'Well, on Elvis Presley Boulevard'.'"
Dr. DeVane says,"That's when it kind of sunk in fully that we were resuscitating Elvis."
After nearly an hour it was clear that 'The King' was gone.
Thirty-nine years have passed, but, for Dr. DeVane and millions of others, Elvis Presley's legacy lives on through his music, movies and memories.