Published on July 25, 2022

Forrest General Hospital Employee was In the Right Place at the Right Time

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (July 25, 2022) There’s something to be said for being in the right place at the right time. That’s exactly where Lee Whaley, a non-clinical employee at Forrest General Hospital, found himself in the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 6.

About 6:30 a.m., Whaley, who lives in Columbia, was almost to work when he noticed the car in front of him was driving on the sidewalk in the area in front of the Forrest General Cancer Center on 28th Avenue. “I knew something wasn’t quite right,” said Whaley, who put his car in park, turned on his emergency flashers, and ran to the car. He asked the driver if he was O.K., but found him passed out. The driver’s side window was down, so Whaley unlocked the car and was able to bring it to a stop and put it in park. He then ran for help. A Patient Care coordinator and an ambulance responded to the scene immediately where they found a man performing CPR. The car’s passenger, Vincent Giron, was rushed to the hospital where he was under the care of Randel L. Smith, MD, FACC.

Giron, of Hattiesburg, is back at home and feeling better. The 62-year-old, who suffered a heart attack 11 years ago, thought he was in fairly good shape since he runs all the time and participates in a lot of the 5K runs in the Greater Hattiesburg area. He even ran in the Fouth of July race in Sumrall. Giron explained that he had been at the Thames Elementary School track, where he runs, and was on his way home when the incident occurred.

Giron has a vague recollection of possibly making a turn near the hospital’s parking lot, but his next memory is waking up in the hospital’s ICU. Giron explained that he lives in a neighborhood near the Hattiesburg Zoo, and cuts through the road in the hospital parking lot to get to Mamie Street on his way home. On this particular day, luck and Whaley were on his side.

Whaley had the opportunity to visit the patient each day. “He thanked me for saving his life, and he called me his angel,” said Whaley, who doesn’t consider himself a hero. “It was just a God thing.” Giron said he considered Whaley both a hero and an angel. “I told him that to his face and would tell anybody,” he said. “I hope he gets some recognition.”


About Forrest General’s Cardiac Services
Forrest General’s Heart and Vascular Services delivers expert care from board-certified cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and vascular surgeons. Services range from diagnostic testing, heart surgery and structural heart treatment to interventional cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation and vascular treatment. For more information, visit www.forrestgeneral.com/heart.


Media Contact

All media related inquiries should be directed to Beth Bunch, Media Coordinator, by email or phone at 601-288-1303.

Related Locations

Share your experience and write a review!

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES · PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST · FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE · NON-DISCRIMINATION NOTICE· NO SURPRISE BILLING RIGHTS · BCBS TRANSPARENCY IN COVERAGE · GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE NOTICE

REQUEST FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR RELEASE OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION · HATTIESBURG CLINIC ACO


6051 US HIGHWAY 49, HATTIESBURG MS 39401 · 601-288-7000 · © FORREST HEALTH · ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ·

Employment Policy: It is the policy of Forrest Health to recruit and select candidates for employment without regard to race, color, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity),
religion, national origin, age, disability or other status protected by applicable federal or state statutes.

A Board of Trustees appointed by the Forrest County Board of Supervisors is charged with the oversight of Forrest Health. The system is completely self supporting and does not operate on local taxes.
Forrest Health facilities are approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for participation in Medicare and Medicaid Programs.