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Contact: Christine Payton Feb. 7, 2012
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu

Staff of both UL Lafayette and Lafayette General Medical Center honored Deedra Harrington, UL Lafayette instructor and LGMC nurse practitioner, last week.

Harrington was presented with the hospital’s distinguished “Making a Difference ” award by President and CEO David Callecod.
Deedra Harrington and Gary Dodson

The award recognizes LGMC employees for actions above and beyond, which Harrington certainly did on Monday, Jan. 9, giving lifesaving CPR to a jogger who had collapsed.

Harrington was returning from a lunch break when she saw a man lying on the track at Girard Park. She said she thought he’d just passed out, “A few bystanders were standing over him so I thought he was taken care of. I kept going, but something (inside) immediately told me to turn around.”

The, then 65-year-old runner, Gary Dodson, had been jogging in the park a few minutes earlier and suddenly collapsed. One onlooker called 911, but Harrington said when she arrived on the scene no one was performing CPR.

She immediately began performing rounds of compressions on Dodson’s chest. Retrieving a CPR mask from her car, she continued CPR until an ambulance came on the scene.

When Dodson arrived at Lafayette General, it was determined that he’d suffered a major heart attack, from a right coronary artery blocked 99 percent, and was taken into the cardiac catheterization lab.

When he woke the next day, he told family members that he didn’t have any recollection of what happened. Later that day, he received a visitor to his ICU room in the form of Harrington.

Dodson spoke to his doctor, Cardiologist, Dr. Christopher Daniels, and discovered that he was lucky to be alive. Although Dodson reportedly exercised daily, ate a balanced diet and didn’t smoke or drink, he has a family history of heart disease.

Daniels, a cardiologist with Cardiovascular Institute of the South at Lafayette General, says Dodson didn’t have any warning signs and probably would have passed a stress test.

“When someone suffers from cardiac arrest in the field, time is of the essence,” he stresses. “He was lucky to have someone to perform bystander CPR and lucky to be so close to a hospital.”

Dodson is doing well, recuperating at home and has since celebrated his sixty-sixth birthday.


Document last revised Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2:54 PM

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