On a fateful day last August, Mary Lyons’ love of helping others played a role in earning her the Life Saving award given by the Monroe Community Ambulance.
For the past two years, Lyons has served as the MCCC Administrative Assistant for Events/Reservations.
In the past, her jobs as a para-professional for a special education department, as well as a worker for Hospice and a flight attendant have also required the ability to manage people in a kindhearted way.
“I feel the satisfaction I have received from all my jobs is the fact I was able to help others, which I love doing,” Lyons said.
After Lyons and her friend, Shawn Maviglia, grilled their steak at Steve’s Tavern in Monroe, they went upstairs and found Chris Parlette on the floor, choking.
Maviglia, who is a nurse, gave Parlette CPR for an uninterrupted 22 minutes.
Lyons directed the crowd to give room for Maviglia and the paramedics.
Lyon’s pulled a man away and realized it was Parlette’s son, Chris Parlette, Jr. after he said “No, no, that’s my father.” She then started asking Chris Parlette Jr. questions regarding his father’s medical history.
Maviglia said Lyons fit the role as “equalizer” quite well.
“She’s very caring. She’s outgoing, easy to talk to,” Maviglia said, adding that she is the kind of person who will take charge of a situation.
Tom Ryder, who Lyons assists at MCCC, agreed with Maviglia’s assessment.
“She is always the first one to volunteer when help is needed,” Ryder said.
Unfortunately, Parlette perished, but as a result of Maviglia’s and Lyons’ efforts, he was put on a respirator and his organs were harvested.
Parlette was the first tissue and organ donor at Mercy Memorial Hospital System. His donations improved the lives of over 40 people.
“It doesn’t have a very happy outcome, except for the fact that he went on to donate his organs,” Lyons said.
Lyons’ and Maviglia’s efforts also put the Gift of Life in motion at Mercy Memorial Hospital.
The Gift of Life is a national organization that raises awareness of the need for donors along with providing assistance to patients, who want to donate.
Mercy Memorial Hospital System decided to be a part of the gift of life, since Parlette donated his organs.
In conjunction, the hospital has formed a committee to plan for future donors.
Furthermore, Parlette’s family was grateful Lyons and Maviglia never gave up on Parlette.
For their efforts, Parlette’s mother nominated them for the Life Saving award.
Lyons was happy to receive the award but said she “would have done it for anybody, anywhere, anytime.”