Ald. Cochran collapses during budget hearing at City Hall, Ald. O'Connor performs CPR

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago 20th Ward Alderman Willie Cochran collapsed Thursday morning during budget hearings at City Hall.

Cochran was home resting Thursday afternoon. He said his blood pressure dropped very low suddenly, which caused him to faint.

The South Side alderman had just taken a seat in the city council chambers at around 11 a.m. when he collapsed in his chair. Budget Committee Chairman and 34rd Ward Alderman Carrie Austin was the first to notice, shouting "man down!"

"When I saw him he was in distress, I jumped into action," said Austin.

Alderman Patrick O'Connor of the 40th Ward started to perform CPR on Cochran. O'Connor said he used his childhood lifeguard training to perform CPR.

"He kind of contorted so we took him down to the ground and checked for a pulse, opened the airway, gave him some compression because we weren't feeling a really good pulse," said O'Connor.

Cochran was responsive and taken out of City Hall on a gurney.

"He was embarrassed about all the attention, he didn't want to go out on the gurney," said O'Connor.

Cochran faces federal charges for bribery, wire fraud and extortion. His colleagues said he also has been caring for his sick wife.

"He does have a lot of stress and weight on him, we want to continue to pray for him and his family," said 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale.

As the budget meeting resumed, Austin said a paramedic, doctor or nurse should be in attendance during all council hearings.
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