Man spends 5 days unconscious alone in his office after suffering stroke

David Norton 
By: Aarav Sen 

An unconscious man spent 5 days in his office unnoticed after suffering a stroke, according to police reports.

The computer specialist suffered a stroke in his office, but he was not discovered until five days later. He later died in a hospital, relatives and officials said Wednesday.

David Norton, 45, of Portland, Oregon, was barely alive when police found him inside the University of Southern Maine office. He died at the Maine Medical Center.

Norton had a stroke on Friday, and was found in his locked office the next Wednesday by USM police after a colleague reported that he had missed a meeting and could not be reached, Norton's mother, Linda Norton, said.

She asked to develop a policy at USM for police to check each university office every day.

"Would you want your son there for five days? He stayed there for five days after suffering a massive stroke," she said. "The way you treat a massive stroke is the sooner the better. You have those magical hours, and not five days."

Norton was hired by the University of Maine System as a leading specialist in communication and computer networking across different campuses.

Norton was alone, so he didn’t have a wife to report him missing, his mother said. He was also known to sometimes take off on hiking trips and leave his car in the parking lot of the university while he was gone, USM spokesman Bob Caswell said.

USM police put three car parking tickets on Norton’s car during the weekend for illegal overnight parking in the school parking lot, he said.

Following the tragedy, the university authorities are reviewing school policies and procedures to determine if changes are warranted, Caswell said.

"I cannot speculate on what those changes might be, but this definitely deserves a review to make sure we are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff," he said.