New nurse saves doctor after he collapses during run

ECONOMY, Pa. — A doctor who was out for a run collapsed in the middle of a park but it wasn't his time to go. Instead, a new nurse driving by saw him and rushed to help.

“I recall driving up to the park and getting out of my car and starting to jog,” Dr. Francis R Kush said. “Rhe next thing I remember, I woke up at the medical center in Beaver”

Kush was out for a run at a park in Economy Borough in late October.

In the moments between those two memories, a woman stepped in to save his life.


“As I was driving past the recreation park, I noticed a man facedown in the grass,” said Jamie Ponter

Ponter is a nurse at Magee Women's Hospital, not far past her training days.

But the moment she saw Kush, she knew what to do.

“As I turned him over, he was already blue in the face and gasping for air so I started forming compressions,” Ponter said.

As she waited for police to arrive, Ponter started to get tired and knew she needed help.

That's when Sam Mortimer, of Bellevue, stepped in

“I saw a young lady screaming for help and I stopped,” Mortimer said.

He used the CPR training he received from his job at Columbia Gas to take over the compressions.

Their tag team effort saved the doctor's life.

“If Jamie had come on the scene two or three minutes later, I wouldn't be alive,” Kush said.

Ponter and Mortimer were honored tonight by the borough, but they shied away from the hero title.

They were both just happy to keep him around for the holidays.

Kush said he had a rare type of heart attack that is called the widow-maker. It has a low survival rate.