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'It just comes to you,' hero says about her life-saving actions

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MEDINA — An employee of the Medina County Office for Older Adults is being hailed as a hero.

Jenny Kiousis, an activities coordinator, is being credited with saving the life of 85-year-old Hulda Seese, a volunteer at the Office for Older Adults.

Seese was eating lunch Jan. 16 at the Human Services Center, 246 Northland Drive, when she started choking and then stopped breathing.

Kiousis, of Spencer, used her 18-year training as an emergency medical technician with the Spencer Fire and Rescue squad, and sprang into action.

“It does (come in handy),” she said Tuesday.

She said she didn’t panic when Seese stopped breathing.

“It just comes to you,” Kiousis said.

“You’ve done it over and over.”

She said she’d used CPR on patients as an EMT, but it was the first time she’d used the Heimlich maneuver.

Kiousis was lauded Tuesday during the Medina County commissioners’ meeting.

Office of Older Adults Executive Director Laura Toth said Kiousis should be commended for her actions.

“I would absolutely call her a hero,” she said. “All the seniors that day were calling her a hero.”

Toth said many of the employees are trained in CPR and first aid.

“Thank goodness,” she said. “Our quick-thinking staff came to her aid.”

Kiousis, who graduated from Highland High School, said the whole incident happened quickly.

“I’m glad it worked out well,” she said. “She started breathing right away.”

Seese choked on crumbs after eating too fast.

Kiousis took immediate action and performed five abdominal thrusts on Seese, who was able to cough up the object that was blocking her airway.

Kiousis was given an accommodation from the county commissioners.

“That was very nice,” she said.

Seese has been coming to the senior center for about 10 years.

“She is the nicest lady you’ll ever meet,” Kiousis said.

Kiousis and her husband, Jim, have two children, son Jamie, 16, and daughter Jessi, 11, who attend Black River Schools.

In other news:

  • The contractor for the Human Services Center wall repair project presented a change order to the original contract. A vertical crack in the inner concrete wall was discovered. New masonry brick to the existing footer was needed.

The original contract amount for contractor Schirmer Construction LLC, of North Olmsted, was $234,731. The revised amount is $245,015.60.

Facilities maintenance director Steven Bastean said there are two big issues.

“There was a crack on the wall that was found ater we did the demo,” he said. “The second thing was the most costly thing. The footing didn’t have the proper footing, so they had to do additional brickwork. That cost us an additional $7,000.”

Bastean said he would soon with meet with architect Studio Techne of Cleveland to talk about two new projects.

“We’re going to meet with the architect on what we need to do on the pedestrian bridge and the wall on the south side of the building. We’d like to take care of that before we have a collapse (like what happened on the north wall).”

Bastean said the work being done on the wall should last at least 50 years.

  • Toth said 1,150 people have signed up to get their taxes done in the AARP tax program at Medina and Brunswick libraries.

She said that’s about 10 to 20 more appointments than are usually scheduled.

“The phone rings almost nonstop from the first of the year to about now,” Toth said.

Thirty to 40 AARP volunteers will help people with their taxes.

  • Del Saffle, dog warden for the Medina County Animal Shelter, said his office impounded 317 dogs in 2018.

He said the shelter found homes for 306 dogs, a success rate of 97.4 percent.

  • The 2019 Commissioners’ Charity Ball has been rescheduled to 6 p.m. Saturday at Weymouth Country Club.

To RSVP, call Rhonda Beck at (330) 466-9072.

  • Kathie Jones, of Sharon Township, asked commissioners to find the schedule of when the NEXUS compressor station in Guilford Township conducts its blowdowns.

She said the heaviest volume of toxins occur during the blowdowns.

“People need to know when to keep their children inside, keep their windows shut and keep their pets in,” said Jones, a member of Sustainable Medina County, a grassroots organization that opposes NEXUS.

  • Susan Frey has been nominated by Medina County village mayors to serve on the Medina County Planning Commission on behalf of the villages as an alternate for Leslie Miller. Frey’s term expires February 2021.
  • Susan Hanlon has been appointed to the city of Wadsworth’s Community Reinvestment Area Tax Incentive Review Council. It has no expiration date. She replaced Doug Metzger, who stepped down.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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