Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Hospital honors Powell for help in medical crisis


Jonathan Powell of Oklahoma City was named the 2010 Heart Hero, announced Feb. 11 by Oklahoma Heart Hospital South during national Heart Month.

Powell provided CPR that saved a man’s life on March 21, 2010.

That day, 57-year-old Tom Tharpe was working in an Edmond warehouse. He suddenly became overheated, felt lightheaded and nauseated, then fainted. Working nearby, Powell and a friend saw Tharpe fall.

Powell, 25, who learned CPR years earlier as a Boy Scout, ran to Tom’s side as the friend called 911. Powell quickly assessed Tharpe and started compressions, continuing them for several minutes—until emergency medical responders arrived. The paramedics used a defibrillator to shock Tharpe’s heart back into action. He was hospitalized for four days.

The CPR by Powell had kept blood and oxygen moving through Tharpe’s body to keep him alive. A year later, the man said he is thankful to the former Boy Scout for knowing what to do and for having the courage to step in and help.

"It’s really important to put others first whenever you can and to not be afraid to do that, because the rest of it will get taken care of," Powell said upon accepting the Oklahoma Heart Hero award.

He is the son of Dave and Beverly Powell, a United Methodist deacon and chaplain at Mercy Health Center.


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