On Feb. 2, Michael Kiddy’s heart stopped when he was stocking shelves at Food Lion in Valdese, North Carolina. The 60-year-old collapsed but fortunately, James Crossno, an 18-year-old East Burke High School student who had been taking pre-EMT courses, was on the scene.
"He was just laid out on the floor in the middle of the aisle. Workers were around him trying to wake him up," Crossno told WBTV. In a separate interview with Burke County Public Schools, Crossno described the scene as terrifying. "The workers were running around and yelling and looked scared,” he said. “I went to see what was going on and saw one of the workers on the ground. His head was bleeding from where he struck it. I just knew I had to respond somehow.”
Crossno began performing CPR and several nurses who were also in the store rushed to help, until first responders with the Valdese Fire Department arrived on the scene.
Among those first responders was Steve Kiddy, Michael’s son.
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Steve didn’t realize the man laying lifeless on the floor was his father because his face was covered by a CPR guard. "My chief came up and asked me if I'm alright," Steve said, "and then it dawned on me to check and see who this person is.”
Steve backed off when he realized the man was his father and Michael was rushed to Frye Hospital in Hickory, North Carolina, in critical condition, the Hickory Daily Record reported. Improbably, Michael survived the heart attack and after ten days in the hospital, he was discharged with a clean bill of health.
"I don't think he really understands just what a miracle this is," Steve said of his father. However, Michael is aware of how close he came to death. “It’s special because they say I was really, really gone,” Michael said, “And here I sit.”
Steve said that the doctors discovered that the heart attack didn’t cause any lasting damage. "The CPR saved his life without a doubt," Steve said.