New role: Deputy coroner helps save heroin overdose victim



A Pennsylvania woman who gets paid to pronounce people dead is being credited with helping save the life of a heroin overdose victim.

Bern Township police Chief Wesley Waugh says Melissa Spuhler reacted quickly when she learned the man was unresponsive in a car outside a sandwich shop where she was waiting in line.

Spuhler, a deputy Berks County coroner, tells The Reading Eagle she radioed for help, checked the man for a pulse, then rolled him onto his side, which helps prevent overdose victims from choking on their own vomit. A township officer arrived with a dose of naloxone to revive the man.

The rescue occurred Aug. 7.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal