McClatchy-Tribune News Service
The AED device Deanna "Dee" Norflee was recently used to save the life of Bark Skinner in Akron, Ohio.
AKRON, Ohio — She normally prays silently.
Deanna “Dee” Norflee prayed aloud the day she saved Bart Skinner’s life.
“Please, Lord Jesus,” she said between sobs as she hooked an automatic external defibrillator, or AED, unit to Skinner, who was in cardiac arrest. “Right now, if you give me the strength to do your will ...”
Norflee, a recreation director at Summit Lake Community Center in Akron, Ohio, had just watched the 55-year-old Skinner take what could be his last breath. Only seconds earlier he was sprinting up and down the basketball court.
“Press the button,” the AED unit told her.
Norflee did as instructed and felt like she was being shocked as she watched Skinner’s body jerk. He began to make a gurgling noise that meant he was breathing again.
Skinner, who was revived by paramedics a second time on the way to an area hospital but is now doing well, credits Norflee’s quick actions with saving his life. His basketball teammates honored Norflee with a plaque and fruit basket, and she will be recognized Thursday by Akron as the city’s Employee of the Month for January.
The incident, which occurred Nov. 29, is one of three in the past six months in which someone used an AED in a city-owned building.
An Akron fire captain used an AED on Tony Gorant, a retired Ohio Edison and Akron General Medical Center executive, during an Akron Planning Commission meeting July 8. Though Gorant was revived, he died a few weeks later.
Akron employees tried to use an AED on a city employee who was found Jan. 3 lying on the floor of the men’s locker room in the CitiCenter Athletic Club. The unit didn’t deliver a shock because the man didn’t have a shockable rhythm. It was too late for him to be revived.