Deedra Harrington


Deedra Harrington

Harrington was returning from a lunch break when she saw a man lying on the track at Girard Park. She says 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 sixty-five-year-old runner, Gary Dodson, had been jogging in the park a few minutes earlier and suddenly collapsed. One onlooker called 911, but Harrington says 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.

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