OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 5 News Release 303
Date: July 7, 2003
Contact: Brad Mitchell
LaSALLE-PERU, Ill. -- When billboard poster worker Isaac Lesman of LaSalle, Ill., responded to a dispatch requiring him to change a billboard in Peru, Ill., he didn't know he was walking into a life threatening situation. Nor did he know that three strangers would save his life on July 15, 2002.
The Aurora, Ill. area office of the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the selfless efforts of Nancy Weberski, Rhonda Adamson and Jean Pfalsgraf, three women who found the 19-year old worker in a fight for his life and helped him pull through. OSHA recently presented the three with plaques honoring their efforts and commemorating the miraculous outcome.
On the day of the incident, Lesman was carrying an aluminum ladder to the job. He may never know whether the ladder actually touched an overhead power line - or merely came close enough for it to send a power surge through his body due to electrical arcing. Fortunately for him, passing motorist Weberski saw Lesman fall on the side of the road in the parking lot of a local church.
She stopped immediately to help and was soon joined by Adamson who searched unsuccessfully for a pulse for Lesman, who was not breathing, before initiating CPR. Moments later, Pfalsgraf, also a passing motorist, stopped to help and noted that Lesman was turning gray each time there was a pause in breathing. Pfalsgraf immediately started rescue breathing while Adamson and Weberski teamed to give compressions, telling the young man to fight for his life.
When paramedics arrived, the three had managed to keep Lesman alive, although his breathing had stopped at least twice. Paramedics defibrillated Lesman twice before transporting him to the hospital, where rescue workers were too busy keeping him alive to immediately notice the two small marks on either wrist, which were entrance wounds from electricity, nor the three-inch long gash on the left side of his right foot, the exit wound.
Despite physical and neurological damage, Lesman is well on his road to recovery one year after the accident. The tireless work of his mother, Karen Lesman, to help him overcome the severe consequences of his electrical shock and the immediate assistance of three caring strangers, along with Lesman's own spirit, have proven to surmount the obstacles.
Plaques honoring the three good Samaritans were presented to each of the women by the OSHA Aurora Office.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov/ebsa. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.
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