Doctor recalls effort to save Lennon

Dec. 5, 2010 at 10:31 AM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The New York doctor who tried to save the life of John Lennon 30 years ago says the singer had no pulse and wasn't breathing when he arrived at a hospital.

The former Beatle was shot and killed by Mark Chapman 30 years ago this week, and the emergency room doctor who worked to save his life recalls the incident as though it happened yesterday, the New York Daily News reported.

Dr. Stephan Lynn had just arrived home following a 13-hour shift at Roosevelt Hospital's emergency room when he received a call to return to the hospital about 11 p.m. on Dec. 8, 1980.

"I raced back to the hospital in a cab and got there just two minutes before two police officers arrived" with Lennon in the back seat, Lynn recalled. "I had no idea who the patient was. It wasn't until a nurse looked inside his wallet for identification that we realized who it was."

Lynn and other emergency room staff worked 25 minutes to save Lennon, but to no avail.

"In death he looked almost nothing like he looked in life," Lynn recalled. "He was gray, he was gaunt, he had no signs of life. He had no pulse, no blood pressure...He was not breathing. We could have at that moment declared him dead."

Lynn cracked Lennon's chest and massaged the singer's heart with his hands, but the four bullets Chapman fired into Lennon's chest at close range caused massive damage. Lennon was then pronounced dead.

Lynn said Yoko Ono was waiting in a small room down the hall from the emergency room.

"She didn't take it well," Lynn said. "She screamed for what felt like five minutes: 'You're a liar! Tell me it's not true! I can't believe it! He can't be dead!'"

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