Respiratory Therapist Lisa Earp was to attend a Chamber of Commerce Banquet in the Jay High School’s Bull Dog Arena in Jay, Oklahoma.

She had just returned from a three-day trip to Oklahoma City and almost didn’t go to the banquet, but she decided to go at the last minute. It was to be a very important decision — one that would ultimately help save a life.

Dr. Darrell Mease was scheduled to be at the same event, but he was busy at INTEGRIS Grove General Hospital instead.

As the keynote speaker prepared to take the podium, he collapsed.

Earp and Michael Van Lear were the professionals on hand who knew what to do.

Earp provided compressions to the patient and facilitated his breathing with some assistance.

One person knew that there was a portable defibrillator in the gym and exactly where it was located.

Donated by the INTEGRIS Grove General Hospital Foundation in 2002, its on-the-spot use is credited with saving the speaker’s life.

“I feel like this was a calling from the Lord, and that I was meant to be there,” explained Earp. “And Dr. Mease was where he needed to be to assist with the care of this patient at the hospital.”

Bearing in mind that only seven percent of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive, and after three separate near-death episodes in Grove alone between 2001 and 2002, the Foundation set a goal to place portable defibrillators in school gyms and community buildings in INTEGRIS Grove's service area.

In one year, that goal was met and, today, some 32 defibrillators have been placed and more than 350 people have been trained in CPR.

In 2003, Governor Brad Henry presented the Foundation and INTEGRIS Grove with the Community Involvement Award for fostering this program.

Funds for the particular portable defibrillator on hand at Jay’s Bulldog Arena that April, 2009 day had been donated by Beverly Jones and her late husband Stan—strong supporters of INTEGRIS Grove and the Foundation where Beverly serves as a trustee.

"I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason,” said Foundation Director Debbie Totty. "When I heard about the incident in Jay, it gave me chills to think that a Foundation defibrillator, donated seven years earlier by one of the most honorable couples I know, had saved a life. Perhaps it is time to revitalize our defibrillator campaign! I’ve been told that several businesses and municipalities have either ordered or are in the process of ordering an AED since this incident."

For information on how to donate to this fund, please contact Debbie Totty at 918-787-3464.