Boxing legend suffers heart attack, saved by quick-acting brothers
PORTLAND, Ore. - Two brothers were forced into action at a North Portland bowling alley when a local boxing legend went into cardiac arrest.
"Lightning" Ray Lampkin Jr. was known for knocking out fellow lightweight boxers in the 1970s. But on Monday night Lampkin faced his toughest opponent yet: His own failing heart.
Ryan McFallo and his brother, Nikkoli, saved the Oregon Sports Hall of Famer during their Monday night bowling league.
Boxing fans will best remember Lampkin for his epic 1975 title fight with WBA lightweight champ Roberto "Stone Hands" Duran. The 14-round fight sent Lampkin to a Panamanian hospital.
Thirty-seven years later Lampkin faced an even more daunting fight at Interstate Lanes when his heart stopped beating.
"We basically just heard a ball drop and turned around and seen Ray laying on the ground, and we just sprung into action as quick as we could," McFallo said.
The two brothers were bowling one lane over when they jumped in to help "Lightning Ray."
"His breathing definitely got more shallow and eventually faded away. And I was like, 'There is no pulse, no breathing,' and I told my brother immediately, 'Give him 30 chest compressions right now,'" McFallo said.
Without a defibrillator, the brothers continued the compressions, keeping Lampkin alive long enough for paramedics to arrive and shock his heart back into working order.
"If they hadn't been where they were at the right time and more time would have passed, he might not have made it," said Kelly Hagedorn, Lampkin's bowling teammate.
Lampkin's bowling buddies aren't the only ones grateful to the McFallos: Ray the Third followed his father into the boxing ring.
"The McFallos are part of the Lampkins for life," he said.
The entire Lampkin family feels blessed to still have "Lightning Ray" in their lives.
"He's still a champion. He won the biggest fight that he'll ever fight of his life, of his career. He's a champion," said Tonya Lampkin, "Lightning Ray's daughter.
The bowlers at Interstate Lanes hope to see "Lightning Ray" back at the bowling alley as soon as he's well enough to leave Legacy Emanuel Medical Center where Lampkin's family said he's talking and alert.
McFallo said he also wants more people trained on CPR so they too can save a life.