Shortly before Carroll County Circuit Court was set to begin its afternoon session, prominent defense attorney Joe McGrady collapsed, fell unconscious and stopped breathing near the side bench on the right of the courtroom.
Commonwealth Attorney Gregory G. Goad and Carroll County Sheriff's Deputy David Shockley helped move McGrady to the floor and immediately began work on resuscitating him.
Goad said he remembered knowing the county had a defibrillator located in the central part of the government complex so he ran to retrieve it.
"Instinctively, I thought I had to go get it, so I ran," Goad said. "The doctor said the shock from the defibrillator saved him."
When he returned, Shockley was administering heart massage while Judge Brett Geisler was performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Goad and Court Reporter Debbie Wilson got the defibrillator working and attached it to McGrady. The defibrillator shocked the attorney and soon thereafter, he began breathing again and regained consciousness.
Goad said as McGrady, a prominent Democrat, was being wheeled out of the courtroom, he joked about being saved by three Republicans and then remarked to Goad about setting bond at an upcoming hearing.
"I was glad I was there to help him," Goad said.
McGrady's son, Jonathan, said doctors determined an anomalous coronary artery was the culprit. This abnormality, which is present from birth, causes an artery to work in the wrong direction, and caused the death of basketball great "Pistol" Pete Maravich at the age of 40.
The younger McGrady said the family is grateful for the work done by the court officials.
"Thank goodness for the quick actions of Judge Geisler, Sgt. Shockley, Greg Goad and Debbie Wilson," he said.
Jonathan McGrady said he arrived at court as his father was being revived.
"Had it happened at home or at the office, he wouldn't have made it," Jonathan McGrady said.
Jonathan McGrady said when Joe arrived at the hospital, his blood pressure and pulse were fine, and it wasn't until further tests were taken that the condition was found.
"The good news is that it's something that can be easily corrected," Jonathan McGrady said.
Joe McGrady is currently a patient at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Jonathan McGrady said a bypass is scheduled for Tuesday to correct the problem, and he wouldn't be surprised to see his father back in court in a couple of weeks.