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Chapin councilman on the mend after dramatic phone call triggers help

Chapin, SC (Jerry Bellune) This dramatic story has a happy ending. It all began with a phone call Chapin Town Councilman Al Koon made on Monday, June 25th to his friend Paul Kirby. Kirby is editor and publisher of the online Lexington Ledger and a former firefighter and correspondent for the Chronicle.

“Al called me about noon to chat as we often do,” Paul said. “Al had been outside doing some yard work and came inside to cool off. “It was unusual for him to call me mid-day as we normally talk in the morning or when I am driving home. “ He originally sounded fine for the first 10 minutes. When Al’s speech changed as we talked, it did so quickly and dramatically. “He was completely unintelligible within moments and it was clear that something was very wrong.”

Paul and his intern called 911 to request an ambulance go to Koon’s house. Paul then called Chapin Police chief Seth Zeigler’s mobile phone to tell him Koon’s wife was in the other end of the house taking a nap. Chief Zeigler woke her when he arrived and found Koon unconscious in the den on a couch.“Al said he does remember calling me to chat,” Kirby said. “After that, he has no recollection.”

Palmetto Health Parkridge doctors tested him with a CT scan and MRI. Koon’s wife and son Chris were with him and his son Ryan drove from Greenville. Koon was then transferred to Palmetto Health Richland’s Stroke Unit for a neurology consultation. By Tuesday, he was steady on his feet, had no slurred speech, and no outward signs of a stroke. By Thursday he felt no ill effects other than a slight headache, Kirby said.

Many friends have come to check on him and many have brought food. “He would like everyone to know how much he appreciates the first responders, police chief and for their thoughts and prayers.”

Paul Kirby (L) & Al Koon (R)


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