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Church Member's Quick Action Saves a Life

Church Member's Quick Action Saves a Life

Saving spiritual lives is expected at church but saving a person’s physical life isn’t normally a part of the Wednesday activities at the Hardin Baptist Church in Hardin, Kentucky, but that’s exactly what happened on Sept. 17, 2014, when Jenny Green kept her cool to save another member of the congregation. 

Terressa-and-Jenny.jpgWednesday nights are a busy time at the church with adult Bible study groups and children’s activities. Teressa McGary’s duties of greeting and directing church members at the welcome wagon were winding down and all of the children settled in their classrooms and the adults were in their Bible study group. Abbey Kelly just happened to be at the welcome wagon when Teressa, 61, said “I feel dizzy” and then slumped over in her chair.  Abbey knew her good friend Jenny Green, a nurse anesthetist, would know what to do and ran to get her. As Jenny ran towards Teressa, she was grateful to see two men lifting Teressa from her chair to the floor where she quickly took action. 

 As Jenny immediately gave rescue breaths to Teressa, she realized she needed compressions and began CPR. Jenny exclaimed “I’m sure somebody called an ambulance and I need an AED (automatic external defibrillator) - - get the AED”.  Kelly responded “I know what she’s talking about” and ran to the foyer to retrieve the Philips OnSite AED. Jenny continued to give compressions and directed others to use the AED.   Without even looking up at the AED, she said “open it, read the directions, look at the stickers and put in on her body”.  Jenny remembered thinking “it’s so simple I was able to tell people who didn’t even know what an AED was how to use it.”

The hardest part for Jenny was waiting for the AED to get a proper reading on Teressa as those 10 short seconds felt much longer. Jenny recalls “God just had all of us right there. We shocked her once and continued CPR for a minute and she began to breathe." Teressa was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and then transferred to Baptist Health in Paduch, KY.  Prior to discharge a week later, she received an Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (AICD) on Sept. 23 and continues to make a good recovery. “I haven’t felt this good in 20 years”, remarked Teressa. The former nurse was diagnosed with heart failure in 2006, which was caused by taking medication that was part of her breast cancer treatment.  She also doesn’t recall much from her hospital stay, including a two-hour conversation she had with her sister, Cathy, who spent the night with her. Teressa felt “absolutely fine” prior to the incident. 

Jenny was in a little shock after the incident and recalled “I kept thinking God really does have everything under control. The timing of everything was miraculously perfect and He wasn’t ready for Miss Teressa to move on.  It was amazing that Miss Teressa’s incident was witnessed by a close friend of mine, and it was wonderful that the two men were there as they were needed to help her get out of her chair.  Everyone was in the right position.  If you’re a bystander you’re there for a reason and it was just time to act.  I just felt excited that God had me there. I’m thankful for AEDs!”

Teressa continues to share her story and faith in God with everyone she meets and is so grateful for her recovery. “I wouldn’t have made it if it weren’t for those people and they knew how to use the equipment (AED).  God works everything out for my good and his glory!"




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