Department secretarydies unexpectedly

Jim Martyka

An employee from the University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication died Tuesday, despite efforts from medical technicians as well as a University student to resuscitate her.
Mary Ann Lukanen, an executive secretary in the school, died in the early evening at Fairview-University Hospital. Though no official confirmation on the cause of death was released, officials on the scene said Lukanen suffered a heart attack.
According to witness accounts, Lukanen, who was about to go home because of an illness, was sitting outside on the south side of Murphy Hall in the early afternoon when she suddenly collapsed.
Michael Brown, a graduate student at the University, was walking past the building and saw Lukanen having seizures. While other witnesses ran to call for help, Brown tried to revive Lukanen, who had stopped breathing.
“She was on the ground, and she only had a slight pulse,” Brown said. “I just tried to help maintain her breathing.”
Brown, who has three years of experience as an emergency medical technician, performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Lukanen until the fire department and medical officials arrived. But by that time, Lukanen had already lost her pulse.
Witnesses said medical technicians tried to restart her heart with a defibrillator. They continued their efforts after moving her to the ambulance, though one official at the scene said, “it didn’t look good.”
Lukanen was then taken to the hospital, where she died.
About 25 University employees and students gathered outside while efforts were underway to revive Lukanen.
Linda Lindholm, coordinator in the school, said Lukanen’s death was unexpected.
After technicians arrived, some school officials informed members of Lukanen’s family, while others rode along with Lukanen to the hospital.
Lukanen had worked in the department for more than 30 years, spending much of them as an overseer of the journalism school’s finances. She was described by colleagues as a happy, dedicated person.
“She was extremely loyal,” said Robert Scott, acting director of the school.
Details of memorial and funeral services have not yet been released by the family.