Jackson County teen recognized for heroic display of life saving response to man in need

Mary Kelly receives her plaque from Harris EMS. Pictured from left to right:  Zach Cagle, Mary Kelly, and Chris McFalls. Photo courtesy of Harris Regional Hospital
Mary Kelly receives her plaque from Harris EMS. Pictured from left to right: Zach Cagle, Mary Kelly, and Chris McFalls. Photo courtesy of Harris Regional Hospital

Press release:

On October 21, 2015 at around 16:14, Jackson County 911 Center received a call for a cardiac arrest at Ingles in Sylva. Upon EMS’ arrival they found a male subject lying on the floor in the care of a young lady. The young lady stated that her name was Mary Kelly and that she heard a noise from the next aisle and when she went to check she found a man lying on the ground.

Mary is a 16 year old Smoky Mountain High School student and has been trained in CPR and first aid. Mary started CPR on the male patient and after approximately 3 rounds of CPR, the paramedics arrived and were able to provide advanced life support measures. The patient was then transported Harris Regional Hospital helipad where he was air lifted to Mission Memorial Hospital for further care and treatment. The male patient was released after a short stay in the hospital.

Mary received her CPR training through health science program at Smoky Mountain High School.

Matt Burrell, EMS Manager says, “Often times when someone goes into cardiac arrest no one is around to provide CPR in a timely manner. Most cases do not end in a positive outcome. Usually when help arrives it is too late. In this case help was one isle over and lifesaving care was able to be initiated within seconds. With Mary’s quick thinking and using her training this patient had a positive outcome.”

Kelly was presented with a plaque by the paramedics that responded to the call in appreciation of her fast thinking and the positive impact she has on this patient’s life. Harris EMS would like to close with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, “Next to creating life, the finest thing a man can do is save one.”

About Harris Regional Hospital & Swain Community Hospital
Harris Regional Hospital, established in 1925, is an 86-bed acute and specialty care facility serving Western North Carolina with more than 100 physicians practicing in locations throughout a multi-county region, including Harris Regional Hospital Medical Park of Franklin, an outpatient facility in Macon County.

Swain Community Hospital, established in 1950, is a 48-bed Critical Access Hospital serving a multi-county region with primary care, emergency medicine and subspecialty care including a pain clinic and a transitional care unit. Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital began an affiliation in 1997 and joined Duke LifePoint Healthcare in 2014.

About Duke LifePoint Healthcare
Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Health® (NASDAQ: LPNT), was established to build a dynamic network of hospitals and healthcare providers. The joint venture, which brings together LifePoint’s experience in community-based hospital management and Duke’s world-renowned leadership in clinical service, is strengthening and improving healthcare delivery by providing community hospitals the clinical, quality and operational resources they need to grow and prosper.

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