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Good Samaritans and WellSpan Good Samaritan save Lebanon man's life

February 03, 2020

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Joel Harter (left) with his Good Samaritans, John and Jennifer Bower, whose quick intervention helped to save his life, along with cardiac care he received at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital.

Joel Harter (left) with his Good Samaritans, John and Jennifer Bower, whose quick intervention helped to save his life, along with cardiac care he received at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital.

Joel Harter was in the right place at the right time.

When he collapsed from a dangerous heart rhythm in the parking lot behind his Lebanon gym on a beautiful Tuesday in June, three passers-by jumped into action to help him, calling for help and administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Gym employees had an automatic external defibrillator, which they used to analyze his heart’s rhythm and deliver an electrical shock, to try to re-establish an effective heart rhythm.

A crew from First Aid & Safety Patrol responded quickly, also delivering shocks to his heart.

And when Harter arrived at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, where he works as a pharmacist, the cardiology staff there quickly took him into the cardiac catheterization lab, diagnosed his problem and ended up implanting a pacemaker/defibrillator.

Eight months later, Harter is back to work and thankful for the both the compassionate assistance and the modern technology that gave him a second chance at life.

WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital’s state-of-the-art Cardiac & Vascular Center has won national awards from the American Heart Association and been designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care by Highmark Blue Shield. The center offers diagnostic and interventional cardiology as well as electrophysiology and open-heart surgery.

“It was not my day to go,” he said. “I got quick help and excellent care in the hospital. I feel very lucky. I’m kind of like a walking miracle.”

Watch the story about what happened to Joel here.