Two Mary Washington Hospital Nurses Lauded for Lifesaving Work
Jessica Mountjoy and Kathy Wirtz were in the right place at the right time.
The two Mary Washington Hospital nurses were camping with their families
in North Carolina when they noticed a commotion. An ATV with eight-year-old
Jonathan Starkey on it had driven into deep water and become submerged.
The adult got free; Jonathan became submerged.
When he was finally freed after five minutes under water, Jonathon wasn’t
breathing. Jessica and Kathy jumped into action, one doing chest compressions
and the other giving him breaths. Tense minutes passed and then Jonathan
started to cough and gurgle. He spent two days in the hospital but emerged
with no permanent damage.
At a surprise ceremony in October, Jessica and Kathy were honored by their
co-workers and hospital administrators for their lifesaving work. The
hospital’s American Heart Association Program Manager bestowed the
Heartsaver Award upon them, which is given to those who save lives by
performing CPR. The highlight of the event was the guest appearance of
Mary Washington Healthcare CEO and President Dr. Mike McDermott spoke for
all when he said the nurses’ skills and actions contributed to a
miracle. “This story is one I don’t think any of us will ever
forget,” Dr. McDermott said. “I don’t know if they get
any more inspirational than this.”