Life-Saving Sheriff: A story of faith, friendship and CPR at the Lee Co. Sheriff’s Office

Local News

LEE CO., Ala. (WRBL) – Faith, friendship and CPR have cemented an unbreakable bond between Lee County’s sheriff and his beloved administrative assistant.

May 10th, Iris Bridges suffered a massive heart attack known as a widow maker. However, Bridges says God had a plan, and she’s thanking first responders who saved her life, including the man she calls her brother, Sheriff Jay Jones.

Bridges is the heart and soul of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Wednesday, she presented Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones with the Heart Saver Hero award for his life-saving efforts to re-start her heart.   

“He’s a member of my family, it’s always been like that,” Bridges told News 3.

Bridges and Sheriff Jones have worked together for nearly 40 years.  Iris has been Jones’ administrative assistant for 20 years.

“It would be difficult, if not impossible to do this job without her assistance and support. She is one of a kind,” said Jones.

On May 2nd both were working in their offices. They can’t see each other, but they can hear one another and were chatting like they always do.

“I needed a letterhead envelope, so I got up to get one and walked out to her desk. I saw Iris slumped back in her chair. I thought she had fainted, so I patted her cheek. Then,  I noticed her eyes weren’t moving. I checked her neck, and there was no pulse. She was not breathing. I grabbed her from the chair and put her down on the ground. I started doing CPR, and I distinctly remember talking to her and telling her, “Oh no you don’t,” recalled Sheriff Jones

Iris suffered a widow-maker heart-attack. The chances of survival are less than 10 percent. However, Sheriff Jones’ knowledge of CPR, quick action by Opelika Fire, EMS and EAMC’s cardio care team, allowed Iris’s heart to beat the odds and hug her rescuers today.  

“Jay saved my life. God just had everything planned. I remember the nurses walking into my room kept calling me their miracle,” said Bridges.

Iris is now back at work, sitting at her desk close to the Sheriff’s office. They took a break from work Wednesday for a special ceremony to honor Sheriff Jones and all the first responders who helped Iris the day her heart was attacked.  

“It’s a relationship I would do anything for. I would do anything for her. Whatever it takes,” smiled Sheriff Jones.

Both Bridges and Sheriff Jones are sharing their story to encourage others to learn CPR. They say it’s easy to learn. Plus, CPR may help you save the life of someone you love.

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