Maury County Public Defender Credited For Courthouse Gift

Maury County Public Defender Credited For Courthouse Gift

CREATED Jan 22, 2014

by Janet Kim

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – A deadly heart attack has brought about change at the Maury County Courthouse, starting with a new life-saving gift. 

Claudia Jack is the district public defender in Maury County.

"This is where I live when I'm not having supper and going to bed," said Jack.

It was not a court case that's bringing her attention. What Jack witnessed at the courthouse was a medical emergency. 

"I had just come in for lunch and I saw a man fall up on this landing," said Jack. "So I just backed against the wall, frozen because of all the activity going on."

"There was an elderly gentleman seated on a chair," said Deputy Ron Shelton with the Maury County Sheriff's Office. "He wasn't breathing. I put him on the floor and there wasn't a pulse, and started compressions and CPR. Meanwhile, they called 911." 

Shelton tried to revive the man but it was too late. He did not survive.

The experience made Jack determined not to see the same thing happen again.

"I've never seen anybody work so hard on anybody… I heard everybody calling, 'where's the AED,' but there was none," said Jack. 

The AED, or automated external defibrillator, is a device that essentially revives the heart.

When Jack discovered there was no AED she took matters into her own hands. She gave the county a blank check to pay for the life-saving device herself.

"We don't know whether having the AED there would have (helped), but it certainly would have made us feel everything that could be done was done at the time," said Jack.  

Jack said she hoped her gesture would pave the way for other county offices to get AEDs as well. At least 10 people have been trained on the AED at the Maury County Courthouse.