St. Peter’s Hospital Nurse Recognized for Heroic Act

Left to right: Nurse Manager Kimberly Morrison, Cardiac Critical Nurse Julia Palma, Director of Critical Care/Cardiac Services Michele Van Buren, and St. Peter's Hospital CEO Ann Errichetti share a smile at the ceremony to recognize Palma and three others who saved a man's life at the Troy Turkey Trot race in November 2015.

Julia Palma, a cardiac critical nurse at St. Peter’s Hospital, was one of four people recognized Wednesday by the City of Troy and the Troy Turkey Trot organizers for helping save a man’s life at the annual Thanksgiving Day race.

Palma was running in the November 26, 2015, 5-kilometer race and happened to see a man lying on the ground. She immediately rushed over to him and noticed he had a gash on his forehead. Two onlookers reported the man had fallen. Palma noticed the man was very pale, and his breathing was irregular. She could not feel a pulse. She administered two rounds of CPR, and instructed a volunteer how to continue further CPR. The man’s wife, who was with him, noted that he had a cardiac history. Two Troy firefighters were also on scene keeping the man’s airway open.

The man finally roused after a third round of CPR. The Troy Fire Department arrived and took over the man’s care until an ambulance arrive and transported him to Samaritan Hospital. Palma then finished the race.

“What serendipity for Julia to be in the right place, at the right time,” said Dr. Ann Errichetti, chief executive officer of St. Peter’s Hospital and Albany Memorial Hospital. “We are so proud of her for stepping up, and everyone whose combined efforts that day saved the life of someone in need.”

Speaking to the local news media, Palma said she was only doing what she has been trained to do.

“I save lives every day, so I wouldn’t call myself a hero,” Palma told the Troy Record. “That’s the only instinct I had, to help this man. If that were my father on the ground, I would want somebody to do what I did and help him.”

Along with Palma, the other rescuers were Troy firefighters Lt. Christopher Bertrand and Capt. Joseph Henkel, and race volunteer Jill Katchmar. See news coverage of the recognition ceremony by: Time Warner Cable News, Troy Record, and CBS 6 News.


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