Three union THUGGS -- Mary Seitz, Leigh Ann Wilkinson and Mary Beth Henderson -- all expected their daughters’ graduation from Wallkill Senior High School would be a day that would change their lives. What they didn’t expect was that they would end up changing somebody else’s life in the process.
The three Teamsters Local 445 nurses from St. Luke’s-Cornwall Hospital were seated in the football risers when 72 year-old Peter Bonk lost consciousness.
These union THUGGS (which, as you know, stands for Those Helpful Union Guys and Gals) knew exactly what to do. The Times Herald-Record reports:
Seitz reached Bonk first and quickly shouted for Wilkinson, whom she'd seen earlier. Henderson was close behind. They began CPR as someone ran to grab the school's defibrillator. They administrated the first jolts of electricity from the defibrillator before transferring Bonk to the care of the Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corp.
Because of the nurses’ heroic and rapid response, Bonk regained cognitive function before he even reached the hospital. There he was then put in the excellent care of other Local 445 workers at the St Luke campus in Newburgh, N.Y. Now, after getting a stint in his artery and a portable defibrillator, Bonk is more active than ever.
Bonk and his wife donated a new defibrillator to the hospital in the trio’s honor. They want to stay in touch with the Local 445 members who saved Bonk’s life.
And those union THUGGS? They were just happy to help.
“We happened to be at the right place at the right time," said Mary Seitz. “Everybody would have done the same thing.”