BREMOND Nearly 50 years ago, Phyllis Hall recalls seeing something few have ever witnessed: the death of a president.
The Bremond Historical Society hosted Hall, who was working at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas on November 22, 1963. She wasn't assigned to the emergency room that day, but says she was there visiting colleagues when President John F. Kennedy was brought in after he had been shot.
Hall says a Secret Service agent guided her into the trauma room, where she began working on the president, failing to find a pulse, and watching First Lady Jackie Kennedy stand in the room watching in shock.
"She was in about the deepest, most profound shock I've ever seen in my life," Hall said. "She didn't respond to anything. If you've seen that picture where Johnson is being sworn in on Air Force 1, that look she has, that's almost the perfect example of what I saw that whole time."
Hall and others worked on the president for nearly 45 minutes before a doctor pronounced him dead. One in the room heard his final three heart beats through a stethoscope, she says.
She didn't initially see the head trauma the president had suffered because of where she was standing and where Mrs. Kennedy had been, but when she did, she and others came to the same conclusion.
"We all knew he was dead, but we were going to make a good try to find some sign of life there to work with," she said.
Hall also helped in the treatment of Governor John Connally, who was wounded in the shooting. She lives in Irving now, and has only been speaking publicly about that fateful day for the past few years.
In her presentation to the crowd, Hall told stories about, among other things, treating the pregnant wife of the alleged shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald, just weeks before the assassination.