The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
UMW grad lifts car off dad
BY LINDLEY ESTES
Lauren Kornacki, a recent University of Mary Washington graduate, credits her experiences at the Fredericksburg school with helping her save her father’s life.
Last Saturday, she lifted a car that fell on her father, a feat, she said, that “I didn’t know I could do.”
Kornacki’s father, Alec, was working on her sister’s BMW 525i at the family’s home northwest of Richmond when a jack slipped and the car fell on him.
Lauren Kornacki said she was told by doctors that her father had a heat stroke under the car while trying to get out.
She moved the car and used cardiopulmonary resuscitation to revive her father, whose heart had stopped beating, before firefighters from the Henrico County fire department building across the street could respond.
“I moved the car an inch or so, just enough to get him out. Then I did CPR and got his heart beating again.”
Lauren Kornacki, a pool manager in Richmond, was recertified in CPR a few days earlier and learned new first-aid tricks.
The emergency responders who transported Alec Kornacki to the hospital told Kornacki’s mother, Liz, that her daughter did everything they would have done. They just had to put a neck brace on him and attach a breathing tube at the scene.
Alec Kornacki was awake and talking 12 hours after entering the emergency room, and Lauren Kornacki said he is walking around and is expected to come home in a few days.
“He is phenomenal. He’s his usual joking, smart-alecky self,” she said.
Lauren Kornacki said the incident has left her shaken.
“It was terrifying. As a child you’re not supposed to see a parent in a vulnerable position. He was actually dead.”
She said she is having nightmares about the car crushing her father, calling it “something I’ll never forget.”
Lauren Kornacki graduated from UMW in May with a degree in physics and said her experiences there helped shape her for the moment when she needed to pull the car off of her father.
“I played basketball for three years for Coach Applebury,” she said. “I talked to her yesterday and told her that learning to lift weights probably helped me a lot” with the car.
UMW women’s basketball head coach Deena Applebury described Kornacki as humble and having a great attitude.
“Lauren is so courageous to do something like that,” Applebury said. “It doesn’t surprise me, though, that she jumped into action like she did.”
Applebury said that during weight training she would pair Kornacki with younger players so she could teach them.
Kornacki also worked for campus recreation as a student and was required to be CPR-certified for the job.
Kornacki said that since the accident, her sister and mother have decided to get certified in CPR as well.
“I think that everyone should realize how important CPR is,” she said.
Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976