Heart attack victim saved by Reading school nurses

May 2, 2013 3:42:03 PM PDT
A Reading school employee is recovering after suffering a heart attack on the job earlier this week. But thanks to the quick action of school nurses and the fact that Berks County has defibrillators in all of its schools, she will make a full recovery.

42-year-old Lynn Haubrich was having severe chest pains and feeling ill Monday night.

But the next morning, Lynn was determined to get to her classroom at Laur's Park Elementary School where she's been an educational assistant for 17 years.

"I needed to be with my kids. I work in an MDS classroom, Multiple Disabilities Support," Haubrich said.

As her morning progressed, Lynn was feeling worse.

"I called my mom to come and get me," Haubrich said

But Lynn collapsed in a hallway before she could make it outside to her mother's car.

The classroom nurse, who came to visit her in the hospital Thursday, and the school nurse sprang into action.

They thought they were too late when they saw Lynn's color - purple.

They performed CPR with no results then they used the school's Automated External Defibrillator.

"So we delivered a shock and we didn't have any signs of life. So I did another round of CPR," the school nurse Christine Wendt said.

After three cycles of CPR and another shock from the defibrillator, there was a slight pulse. "They did everything appropriately, they called 911, they started CPR, and they administered three shocks. They didn't give up on her and they got her back," cardiologist Dr. Matthew Nolan said.

Lynn had suffered a full blockage of a coronary artery.

"The nurses in the school saved my daughter's life. They have all my love and gratitude," Lynn's mother Ellen Smith said.

Dr. Nolan expects Lynn to make a full recovery and he says she could be released as early as tomorrow.

Then Lynn wants to return back to school on Monday, though Dr. Nolan says it'll probably be a little later than that.