Langhorne Chief Honored for Helping Save ESPN Reporter

ESPN reporter and Middletown resident Phil Sheridan knows he wouldn’t be alive today if not for the quick actions of bystanders and first responders on March 11.

Phil Sheridan (left) as Chief Ste (center) was honored for saving his life. Credit: Tom Sofield/LevittownNow.com

Phil Sheridan (left) as Chief Steven Mawhinney (center) was honored for saving his life.
Credit: Tom Sofield/LevittownNow.com

Sheridan was on his normal three-mile jog when he fell to the ground just before crossing the Route 1 overpass on Hulmeville Road on the Langhorne Manor and Middletown border.

Within minutes, two local volunteer firefighters had pulled over along with about 8 others. The firefighters, a father and son team from Trevose Fire Company, had begun CPR on  Sheridan. A short time later, Langhorne Borough Police Chief Steven Mawhinney arrived after hearing the call on police radio.

The chief, who performed CPR, was followed by medics from the Penndel-Middletown Emergency Squad. The medics used their Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on Sheridan and rushed him to the hospital. An ambulance from Bensalem, members of the Middletown Township Fire Marshal’s office and firefighters from the Langhorne-Middletown Fire Company also helped at the scene.

On Wednesday night, Mawhinney was honored by Langhorne Borough Council for his heroic actions.

“Are you my jogger?” Mawhinney asked Sheridan outside the borough hall. It was the first time the two came together since Sheridan suffered what medical professionals called a “sudden cardiac death.”

“If they hadn’t been there I wouldn’t be here,” Sheridan said of the heroes that saved his life. The 50-year-old said not all of those who stopped to help have been identified.

Credit: Tom Sofield/LevittownNow.com

Bystanders medics and police helping Sheridan after he collapsed in March.
Credit: Tom Sofield/LevittownNow.com

Mawhinney was modest when asked about the event after the meeting and credited the bystanders and medics. “I performed CPR while [the medics] ran lines,” he said.

Sheridan’s wife Jenny said she was in Bristol Township when she got the call from St. Mary Medical Center that her husband of two years had collapsed. 

“They said: ‘Please come. We don’t know what will happen tonight,” Jenny Sheridan said, adding that the hospital staff did great work.

Within 10 days and just out of a medically induced coma, Sheridan was conscious and talking with visitors.

Stephen Grosso, Sheridan’s neighbor and friend, said the community helped out around Sheridan’s house while he was hospitalized. Sheridan has lived in the borough for 17 years.

Sheridan, a former newspaper reporter who covers the Philadelphia Eagles for ESPN, said sudden cardiac death was caused by a problem with the electrical system that causes the heart to function and not a blockage. So far, Sheridan does not have any lasting effects from the incident, but he might be outfitted with a small defibrillator.

Sheridan, a father and step-father, said he is feeling good and plans to return to work in two weeks.

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Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for three years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: tom@levittownnow.com Phone: 215-431-1001