Three employees at a pizza shop at Northeast Ohio were hailed as heroes by their city after they acted fast and saved the life of an elderly co-worker on March 5.
Their life-saving act was captured on a surveillance camera after 63-year-old Gilbert Gaynesbloom suffered from full cardiac arrest and fell unconscious at the Little Caesars pizza shop in New Philadelphia, according to Fox8.
Keralyn Songer, 34, rushed out to call paramedics, Nicole Strong, 35, got Gaynesbloom on his back and gave him CPR, and Brody Ferris, 24, also immediately helped with the CPR.
— Little Caesars (@littlecaesars) March 8, 2019
Strong had learned CPR at school and Ferris had learned it recently while training to be a lifeguard this summer.
“I asked the manager if I should do CPR because I wasn’t entirely sure. I couldn’t feel a pulse, so I just had to assume there wasn’t any, and he wasn’t breathing either, so I ended up doing CPR on him,” Ferris told Tusco TV.
Every inch a star, Nicole and Ferris kept performing CPR and kept Gaynesbloom alive until the paramedics arrived.
Because all three had their acts together, Gaynesbloom was able to have life-saving surgery at the Altman Hospital in Canton.
“They essentially started to save my life. Thank you so much. Thank you all and thank you, everyone,” Gaynesbloom told Fox8 from his hospital room on Friday.
Andrea Tyson, the owner of the pizza shop where the trio work, celebrated their heroics by hosting a party for them on Friday afternoon.
“Brody is training to be a lifeguard, and he had just gone through the CPR portion of it, so I feel like his instincts with that just kicked in, and the other girl that did the breathing, she said she didn’t really think. She just did it. So it was just kind of amazing the way everybody came together the way they did. I’m just so overwhelmed by it,” Tyson told Tusco TV.
Tyson awarded the trio gift cards. “The conversation I had with the three of them was that I believe that if one of them was not trained in CPR then I don’t think he would be here today. I know he wouldn’t be here,” Tyson told in another interview with Fox8.
— fox8news (@fox8news) March 9, 2019
Paramedics were also appreciative of the trio’s efforts and said that Gaynesbloom could have died or suffered brain damage if they had not acted fast.
“At the time of the incident, I only had three lifeguarding classes at the YMCA. We did the CPR training first. I’m just glad we did that first because if that was the last class I wouldn’t have been able to help at all and who knows how this would’ve gone” Ferris told Fox8.
New Philadelphia City Council is planning to honor the three men for their heroics at their upcoming meeting.
“Honestly it was human instinct that took over to help people which is what I was raised to do. I was taught CPR when I was in high school and it came back to me and it feels great,” said Strong.
Gaynesbloom believes the three men are his heroes, however, Keralyn Songer thinks they did what any good human being would do.
“I’m not a hero I did what any normal caring human being would do for somebody else who was in trouble,” said Songer.
Gaynesbloom is looking forward to getting back to the pizza shop and to his full-time work of being a professor at Kent State. And since life has thrown a second chance at him, he wants to make the best of it by spending it with his family and friends.
“I’ve got children and grandchildren. I want to see them grow up,” he said.
New Philadelphia Fire Chief Jim Parrish said that the first four minutes are critical in such cases of cardiac arrest and that the three employees’ quick actions may have saved Gaynesbloom’s life.