‘Fast’ responders make a difference

From left, Commonwealth Senior Living at Kilmarnock’s sales and marketing director Jill White, resident care director Jennifer Kelley and program assistant Debra “DJ” Cortijo present tokens of their appreciation to Lancaster County Emergency Services’ Renee Smith, Mike McAdoo and Loryn Christophers for their life-saving efforts when Cortijo suffered a medical emergency. Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

KILMARNOCK—It was an ordinary day in June when Debra “DJ” Cortijo made her way to work as a program assistant at Commonwealth Senior Living at Kilmarnock.

She didn’t feel bad or even particularly different when she left home. But about 10 minutes into her drive from Burgess to Kilmarnock on Jessie duPont Memorial Highway, she started to itch and her lips started tingling. She was a few miles from town when she pulled into a restaurant parking lot and called 911.

“All I could say by then was I can’t breath. It happened so fast,” she said.

Within seven minutes, Lancaster County Emergency Services paramedics Renee Smith, Mike McAdoo and Loryn Christophers were on the scene.

Cortijo had had a similar experience in…

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