Published: 05/31/2013

At Evangelical Teamwork Saves a Life

In October 2012, Theresa Dawson, a 44-year-old wife, mother, and grandmother went into cardiac arrest at home. Her husband, Tim, used CPR to keep her heart going until Evangelical’s Pre-Hospital Services team of Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians arrived at the scene to perform lifesaving measures. Thanks to those early actions and the medical professionals at Evangelical Community Hospital, the outcome of her heart attack was recovery.
The Pre-Hospital Services team consulted with Dr. Randi McLeod, Emergency Department physician, while in transit to the Hospital. Once they arrived, the Evangelical cardiovascular team made up of Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialists (RCIS), Registered Nurses, and Petra Lynch, MD, a Geisinger interventional cardiologist, determined Theresa needed an emergency heart catheterization to open a blockage and return proper blood flow to her heart. When the catheterization was complete and Theresa was stabilized, Evangelical’s Pre-Hospital Services transported her to Geisinger where she received arctic protocol, known as induced therapeutic hyperthermia after a heart attack.
On Thursday, May 23, 2013, during National EMS week, Theresa returned to Evangelical with her husband, Tim, daughter, Felicia, and her grandsons to thank each individual who contributed to her second chance at life. For Theresa, who remembers little from the day of the cardiac arrest, this was the first chance she got to meet the people who saved her life and for the Evangelical staff it was an opportunity to see the healthy person she is today.

Back row left to right: Dr. Petra Lynch, Linda Mann – RCIS, Albert Shutt-Paramedic, Jason Yarnell-Paramedic, Felicia Reyes – daughter, Tim Dawson-husband, Theresa Dawson-grateful cardiac patient, Joie Brunetti-EMT, Richard Rishel-Paramedic Coordinator, Susan Schirk –RCIS, Lana Williard-RN, and James Craven-Associate Vice President of Cardiovascular Services. Front row left to right: Lisa Brinckman-RN, Nursing Director of Cardiovascular Services, Christopher Phillips-RCIS, Michael and Shane Dawson-grandsons, Shannon Bottiger-RN, and Karen Long-RN.