Following prof’s heart attack, three faculty and a campus police officer save the day

Following prof’s heart attack, three faculty and a campus police officer save the day

April 05
22:21 2016

Laura Cortez | Staff Writer


A professor who had a heart attack in the Business Leadership Building was saved by three faculty members and a campus police officer during a routine meeting in January.

“I really can’t remember anything,” Dr. R. Jefferson George said. “I put my head down, and I fell over.”

That’s when Dr. Jeanne Tunks, professor Doryce Judd, Dr. Jakob Vingren and UNT police Cpl. Pete Uranga jumped to George’s side. Tunks said he noticed George had fallen to the floor, so she made her way over to see if she could assist.

“His breathing was very labored, I checked for a pulse and found a very weak one,” Tunks said. “I got my phone and called 911, talked to the dispatcher and asked for help.”

Someone else grabbed her phone to relay to the dispatcher what was happening in the BLB, at a meeting concerning the College of Education. Tunks took charge and began loosening George’s clothes to check for a pulse and to see if he was breathing.

She and another faculty member rolled George onto his side in an attempt to dislodge anything that could have been obstructing his airways. Finding nothing, Tunks and Judd began CPR.

When Tunks was in college during the 1970s, she took classes offered by the American Red Cross to get certified as a CPR instruction. She then taught CPR classes for six years.

“I gave him 30 compressions,” Tunks said. “[Judd] tried to give him breaths, but his head was locked in position not allowing for an open airway.”

During this time, another faculty member hooked George to the AED, a small device capable of checking heath rhythm and sending electric shocks to the heart, which told Judd and the others George needed more compressions. There are about 60 AEDs located on the UNT main campus and Discovery Park. Of those 60, one is located in the BLB by the elevator on the first floor.

Uranga, the UNT police officer, took over chest compressions. Shortly after, the rescue crews arrived to rush George to Denton Presbyterian Hospital.

UNT president Neal Smatresk honored the three faculty members and Uranga March 21 in the president’s University Union suit.

“I was happy to celebrate the life of Dr. George,” Judd said.

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