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Local News

Will County naloxone trainee saves man's life in Joliet park

Shaw Media file photo
Shaw Media file photo

A Joliet resident who recently participated in Will County's naloxone training used the skills he learned in the hourlong session to save a life Sunday.

Jerry Reeves was in a park in south Joliet when he noticed a parked car and a man lying on the ground next to it, according to a news release from Will County Executive Larry Walsh's Office.

He said a woman standing with the man told Reeves the man was just drunk, but Reeves noticed the signs of an overdose.

“She admitted he had used heroin so I rushed back to my car and grabbed the Narcan I had,” Reeves said.

The man's breathing was labored. After one dose, his breathing became more regular, but he did not regain consciousness. Reeves gave a second dose and told the woman to call 911, the release said.

“At that point, the man sat up and was very disoriented,” Reeves said.

Dr. Kathleen Burke, director of substance use initiatives in the Will County Executive’s office, said she is happy Reeves used his training he received to save a life.

“Jerry did everything as he was instructed,” she said.

Burke has been working to train as many people as possible to administer naloxone. She conducted the training session Reeves attended at the Overdose Awareness Day event held last week in New Lenox, where more than 112 people were trained.

Reeves said he had previously witnessed an overdose in the same park but did not have any Narcan at that time.

“I couldn’t believe there was a class like this available, and that I would receive a box of Narcan free," Reeves said. "I am very thankful I took this training and was able to help save this man’s life.”

Burke is available to offer naloxone training to any group, organization or individual in Will County. For more information, call (815) 774-7486 or email kathleenburke@willcountyillinois.com.

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