Doctor shrugs off ‘hero’ title

Instead of reporting early for work Monday on his first day as Interim CEO of the San Mateo Medical Center as he’d planned, Dr. Sang-ick Chang was at the bedside of a 14-year-old stabbing victim whose life he helped save at a San Francisco bakery.

Chang, the Medical Center’s former chief operating officer and a family doctor, rushed in to save the girl, applying pressure to her multiple stab wounds, after he saw a scuffle between two men at the bakery’s entrance on Saturday afternoon.

“She was in critical condition and bleeding profusely, and with simple direct pressure I was able to control the bleeding and she remained conscious until the paramedics arrived,” Chang said Tuesday.

The girl, whose name hasn’t been released, was stabbed shortly after 4 p.m. at Creighton’s Bakery on Portola Drive by a man who had been released from San Quentin State Prison just a day before, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

The suspect, 26-year-old Scott Thomas of Van Nuys, was arrested and booked into San Francisco County jail, according to Sgt. Steve Mannina. District Attorney Kamala D. Harris announced Tuesday that Thomas has been charged with four felony counts, including two counts of attempted murder, one count of child endangerment and one count of assault with a deadly weapon. He is scheduled to appear today in San Francisco Superior Court for arraignment.

While dismissing himself as a hero, Chang admitted that if he or someone else had not treated the girl, she likely would have died within a few minutes. Chang, the girl and her family have gotten to know each other over the last few days — including talking on the phone daily.

She appears well on her way to recovering, said Chang, who took over as Interim CEO of the San Mateo Medical Center after Nancy Steiger announced in April she was moving to Washington State to take a new job.

Two other men, one of whom pulled Thomas off of the young victim and another who followed Thomas and called police, are real heroes, Chang said.

ecarpenter@examiner.com


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