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Judge performs CPR in his courtroom

An Arlington general district judge may have saved a man’s life in his courtroom last week, performing CPR after the victim suffered a heart attack.

The victim was testifying in a criminal trial on Thursday when he started “gasping for air,” his friend “George” told ARLnow.com.

He said Judge Thomas J. Kelley Jr. cleared out the courtroom and came down from the bench to render aid.

Kelly performed chest compressions while two sheriff’s deputies assisted Kelley and performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Maj. Susie Doyel.

“It was a flash, [Kelley] was down off that bench in a hurry,” George told the news site. “When I got to the hospital, the EMTs stabilized him and said whoever performed CPR on him probably saved his life.”

George declined to provide his last name or the name of his friend, the heart attack patient, the news site reported.

Between the time Kelley began administering CPR and arrival of paramedics, George said the victim began breathing and regained his pulse — but then his heart stopped again, prompting the judge and deputies to restart their CPR efforts.

“The judge had control of everything. He didn’t blink,” George said. Later Thursday afternoon, after ensuring his friend was in stable condition, George went back to the court house to thank Kelley.

“He was telling me he had [performed CPR] years back and he was glad he still had the skill set,” George said.

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