Old Town woman who was focus of rescue effort by Matt Dunlap succumbs to medical issue

Posted July 10, 2012, at 8:44 p.m.

OLD TOWN, Maine — Despite a heroic effort to save her, a 21-year-old Old Town woman who collapsed on Middle Street died Monday, a week after suffering a medical problem while jogging.

A 2009 graduate of Old Town High School, Gabriella “Gabi” Do Amaral was a junior at Hampshire College in Massachusetts at the time of her death, according to her obituary. She had recently arrived home after completing a semester abroad in Cuba.

Former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and his neighbors, Reggie and Roxann Bennett, found the young woman unresponsive across the street from their homes on the morning of July 2, initiated CPR and called 911.

Dunlap was chatting in his backyard with his neighbor Reggie Bennett around 10:45 a.m. when Bennett noticed someone on the sidewalk across the street, Dunlap said at that time.

Bennett and Dunlap ran across the street and found the woman. Dunlap said the woman wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse. Dunlap began chest compressions with help from Bennett and his wife, who also spoke to an emergency dispatcher on the phone.

The neighbors performed CPR until a rescue crew from the Old Town Fire Department arrived within a minute and took over attempts to revive the woman, Dunlap said.

“I think it’s sufficient to say that I’m devastated by the family’s loss,” Dunlap said Tuesday after learning of Do Amaral’s death.

“As a resident of Old Town, I’ll be forever impressed by and grateful for the skill and dedication of the Old Town Fire Department EMTs, who gave her the best shot she could have had,” he said.

According to her obituary, Do Amaral was active in a range of activities while attending Old Town High School. She performed with symphonic, concert and jazz bands, playing the clarinet and bass guitar.

She was active in social activities including Envirothon and

Operation Breaking Stereotypes, went to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina to help build houses and played field hockey and basketball and was a diver. She also loved music, art, people, the outdoors, nature and water.

Do Amaral is survived by her parents Terri and Jose Do Amaral of Old Town; maternal grandparents Donna Coulombe of Old Town and Reginald Coulombe of Florida; paternal grandparents Hilda Brita “Teresa” and Jose Odir Do Amaral of Brazil; and several aunts, uncles and cousins in Maine and Brazil.

Visiting hours are set for 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the Birmingham Funeral Home, located at 438 Main St. in Old Town.

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