Postal Workers Honored for Saving Coworker

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POCONO SUMMIT -- Some postal workers in Monroe County were honored by the Postmaster General on Wednesday for their heroic actions last September that saved a fellow coworker's life.

Donna Bethel reported to work last September and suffered a heart attack, but it was the quick action of her postmaster and fellow employees that saved her life.

Bethel, an 18-year post office veteran, couldn't be happier to report to work, just months after she had a heart attack right in the mail room, calling out for help as she fell to the ground.

"She didn't fall hard. She kind of crumpled, or kind of folded up and slid down to the floor," recalled Pocono Summit Postmaster Phil Zimich.

Zimich yelled for another employee who called 911 and Bethel's husband Andy, who lives nearby.

When he arrived, his wife was turning blue and barely breathing. He started CPR.

"Being trained in CPR and stuff like that, I didn't even think about it. Luckily, I've done CPR in the past, never worked. This is the first time it ever worked," said Bethel.

He was assisted by others working in the post office keeping Donna alive until the ambulance arrived and shocked her heart.

Donna doesn't remember anything from that day.

"Unreal," Donna said. "I just couldn't even fathom that they were all here and did so much for me."

Now that Donna has returned to the post office sorting mail and working the counter, her coworkers say this experience has made them feel more like family.

"It was a day that we'll never forget certainly, and I think a day that changed our lives to some extent because we kind of looked at things in a whole different light after that."

Their quick actions earned each of them the Postmaster General Hero Award.

The Bethels are thankful for every moment they have together.

"It's a little surreal," said Andy. "Just take one day at a time. I still wake up in the middle of the night and check her."

"Every day it's a reminder of how lucky I am to be here," said Donna.

Donna had to remain in a medically induced coma at Pocono Medical Center and was hospitalized for about a month after her heart attack.

Her coworkers never expected her to return to work, making this ceremony an extra-special celebration.

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