Contributed by Carl Castro, Southern Connecitcut State University, Nicole DeCrisco, DePauw University, Ally Krupinsky, University of South Dakota and Roberto Roldan, University of South Florida
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Last month, Carlos Perez lost his low-rent apartment in a fire. His landlord just so happened to be Sean Cononie, founder and director of the COSAC homeless shelter in Hollywood, Florida.
For the last 30 days Perez has lived in a cramped room adjacent to the shelter. Perez doesn’t care though, as long as he has his computer. Perez has been a gamer since DOS. He said his first game was Bedlam, an interactive text-based adventure game that was released in 1986.
Nowadays, Perez stays current with gaming through Steam and massive multiplayer online games like World of Tanks.
“When there were no graphics you had to use your imagination,” He said. “Now, the graphics are so great that you don’t really care.
Shortly after midnight, Mike Allen, a resident at COSAC had difficulty breathing.
Allen exhibited other heart-attack-like symptoms including chest pain, slowed mental processes and an odd taste in his mouth, according to Cliff Pieczarka, a security guard. Pieczarka then decided that it was time to call an ambulance.
“With everything combined together, you want to get him to the hospital,” Pieczarka said.
Pieczarka said the response times of the ambulance was normal, despite an approximate 10 minutes that the ambulance sat in front of the shelter after Allen was put on the stretcher.
Photo by Carl Castro, Southern Connecticut State University
“They have to do many many tests,” he said, offering a reason for the seemingly long intermittent time.
The ambulance team can test heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels and even have the ability to perform an emergency electrocardiogram (EKG).
“[An EKG is] going to tell them exactly what’s going on with that heart,” Pieczarka said.
He said that it also speeds up the intake process at the hospital to get the best possible treatment.
Pieczarka noted that Allen was in the hospital last week.
Ally Krupinsky, a Will Write For Food (WWFF) staff member, saw Pieczarka run inside the shelter.
“I just didn’t know what was going on,” Krupinsky said.
She noted that his chest jerked while breathing in an irregular manner.
“I don’t think he could have faked that,” she said.
Despite a few residents coming outside to find out what was going on, Lakeidra Chavis, also a WWFF staff member, was surprised that a crowd of residents did not form.
“People just kind of kept to themselves,” she said.