Firefighter who suffered heart attack released from hospital

September 20, 2012 2:18:43 PM PDT
A veteran San Jose firefighter who has been hospitalized since suffering a heart attack at the scene of a downtown church fire late last month was released from the hospital Thursday, according to Fire Chief William McDonald.

Frank Ryan, 41, had been hospitalized at Regional Medical Center of San Jose since Aug. 30.

Ryan had collapsed a few minutes before noon, just as fire crews were gaining the upper hand on a three-alarm fire at St. Patrick Proto-Cathedral Parish at 389 E. Santa Clara St.

Conditions inside the church were described as "blackout," with smoke too thick to see through, according to fire Capt. Mary Gutierrez.

After being brought to the hospital in critical condition, Ryan received round-the-clock support from his fellow firefighters, who took shifts visiting the ICU waiting room in the days following his hospitalization.

Up until Ryan woke up on Sept. 4, at least 20 fire fighters were in the waiting room at a given time. At night, off duty fire fighters slept on cots, Gutierrez said.

San Jose fire fighters also raised money to fly Ryan's closest family members, his five siblings, to San Jose.


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