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St. Luke’s Nurse Springs into Life-Saving Action at Restaurant
March 28, 2018

On an early February evening Kelley Briggs, a registered nurse in the gastrointestinal lab at St. Luke’s Anderson Campus, was in the middle of dinner at an area restaurant with her husband and stepdaughter when a senior couple being escorted to a table caught her eye. "I never really turn the ‘nursing thing’ off and I noticed the woman's color was off and she was grabbing her chest," recalls Briggs.

Briggs jumped up from her table and ran to the woman. After identifying herself as a nurse, Briggs laid the woman down on a bench in the entryway and began to question the woman's husband about his wife's medial history, specifically cardiac issues as well as stroke and diabetes. Visibly shaken, the husband confirmed no prior medical issues. Placing the woman's legs on her shoulders (to force blood back into the chest cavity) Briggs calmly summoned a manager to call 911 as she continued to monitor the woman's pulse. Though she never fully lost consciousness, the woman remained dizzy and short of breath.

While waiting for the ambulance, Briggs learned the East Stroudsburg couple had just come from a movie and hadn't eaten since lunchtime, many hours earlier. Since the couple was unfamiliar with the area, Briggs instructed the ambulance to take them to the St. Luke’s Anderson Campus Emergency Department.

When the ambulance left and the small crowd of onlookers dispersed, Briggs and her family finished their meal. However, Briggs couldn't stop thinking about the couple so after dropping her husband at home, she asked her stepdaughter if she would like to participate in a "random act of kindness." Her stepdaughter agreed and accompanied Briggs to purchase a turkey sandwich and a bottle of water and made the trip to Anderson. "I knew they didn't have any friends or family nearby and hadn't eaten since lunch, so I really wanted to make sure the woman’s husband had something to eat," explains Briggs.

Upon arrival at the emergency department, Briggs learned the woman was stable and undergoing tests and quickly found her husband. When presented with the turkey sandwich and water, the gentleman hugged Briggs and her stepdaughter and stated "you have restored my faith in humanity."

Media Contact:

Sam Kennedy, Corporate Communications Director, 484-526-4134, samuel.kennedy@sluhn.org

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of 14,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and over 300 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue of $1.9 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only health care system in central-eastern Pennsylvania to earn Medicare’s five-star rating (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics) repeatedly – six times total and four years in a row including 2018.  It has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the EPIC electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.