Dan Ketchum was one of the several dozen Iowa voters who braved the cold, icy conditions in Des Moines to listen to John Edwards speak at the "Every Child Matters" forum this morning. But the weather was hardly an obstacle compared to what he had to overcome just last week.
Ketchum was in Des Moines on November 20th to attend the last of the five performances by Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt, who were touring with Edwards through Iowa in the final days before thanksgiving. But before the music started, Ketchum's heart stopped and he collapsed in the aisle of the auditorium. Thanks to quick action from a nurse in attendance and fast response from EMTs who performed CPR, Ketchum was successfully transported to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.
That night, Senator Edwards came to visit Ketchum in his hospital room to check up on his status. It was a visit that Ketchum only vaguely remembers.
"I really did appreciate the fact that he came and offer support to my sister who was there at the hospital," said Ketchum
Ketchum, who had a heart bypass operation 8 years ago, stayed in the hospital through the Thanksgiving holiday and was released a week ago today. He looked happy and healthy at this morning's event, standing on his feet throughout the entire event, even with plenty of empty seats to be had.
But does the heart that just won't quit tell him to vote for Edwards?
"I've kind of been going back and forth between different candidates," said Ketchum, an ESL teacher, who's also considering Obama. "But I've been going more to (Edwards's) direction the last few weeks."