Pharmacist saves shopper who stopped breathing inside store

CW39

'She gasped and came back'

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio (WJW) – An Ohio pharmacist is being hailed a hero after he saved the life of a shopper who stopped breathing inside his store.

It started out as an ordinary Tuesday afternoon for 69-year-old Janet Coleman on May 18.

“I gotta run to Drug Mart. I have to pick up some bread and the paper,” said Coleman. “I bent down to get a loaf of bread to check the expiration date and that’s all I remember.”

Coleman, who suffers from a heart arrhythmia, collapsed inside Discount Drug Mart in North Olmsted.

“I woke up and I was in the ambulance. I asked the paramedic, ‘What happened?’ He said, ‘You had no pulse and no heartbeat. Your pharmacist gave you CPR and you started breathing.’ I said, ‘Oh my god,'” Coleman said.

Matt Kirby, a pharmacist with Discount Drug Mart, ran out from behind the pharmacy and immediately started CPR.

“You really don’t think, you just snap into action. Once I realized she wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse, compressions, compressions, compressions,” said Kirby.

“I was on compression 22 when she gasped and came back,” Kirby said.

Paramedics arrived four minutes after Coleman started breathing again.

“It’s surreal, I don’t even know how to explain it. And then I had to go back to work. That was the hardest part. I actually had to sit down for a while,” Kirby said.

Discount Drug Mart said pharmacists are trained in CPR and recertified every two years by the American Red Cross. More than 200 of its pharmacists are CPR-trained in 75 stores across Ohio, the store added.

Coleman was released from the hospital four days later. Now, she and her husband Kevin are grateful for Kirby’s actions so they can celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday.

“You get a new perspective that people do care about you. You might not know their names. But they care,” Coleman said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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