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Friday, August 27, 2010

Full Circle

Laura Geraghty of North Attleboro received the Heroes Among Us award during Game 5 of the NBA finals at Boston's TD Garden in June. She is surrounded by Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce, left, Brian Taylor, director of compliance and internal audit for the Massachusetts State Lottery and Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher.

NORTH ATTLEBORO — A local woman who died for 57 minutes before she was revived by CPR and a defibrillator and later used her own CPR skills to revive a man who suffered a heart attack has been honored as a hero at a Boston Celtics game.

Laura Geraghty received the “Heroes Among Us” award, which is given by the Boston Celtics and Massachusetts State lottery to people who have made an exceptional and lasting contribution to the community through their commitment and humanitarian spirit.

She received the award during Game 5 of the NBA finals in June.

“What an honor it was,” Geraghty said. “I got to go down to center court and 18,000 people applauded me, including Bill Belichick and Matt Damon.”

In April 2009, Geraghty suffered cardiac arrest, and her heart stopped beating for 57 minutes. Geraghty was a school bus driver, and had just arrived at Newton South High School with a student in a wheelchair and a teacher’s aide from Newton-Wellesley Hospital.
She was revived through the efforts of multiple bystanders who used CPR and 21 shocks from a defibrillator.

“I survived because I had immediate and effective CPR,” she said.

Geraghty was inspired by the experience to learn CPR, which she used in February to revive a man who had a heart attack while shopping at Walmart.

Since then, Geraghty has been a strong advocate for CPR skills.

“It’s no longer about me. My mission has truly been nothing but teaching the importance of having CPR skills,” she said.

Geraghty was recently interviewed for a documentary called “I Survived: Beyond and Back,” which will air on A&E in October.
Geraghty said her name was sent in by the American Heart Association.

AMY DeMELIA covers North Attleboro for The Sun Chronicle. She can be reached at 508-236-0334 or at