After suffering a heart attack at a Save-A-Lot store in Dearborn, Michigan, Sunday evening, Danny Rugenski is lucky to be alive. Doctors say that if it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of the store manager and two customers, Rugenski would not have made it to the hospital.
Rugenski was found unconscious inside the store.
“Once I got up here, I could tell right away that he was not breathing,” assistant manager Terri Shepherd said.
Shepherd didn’t have first aid training, but was able to follow instructions provided by a 911 operator. Realizing that time was short if they were going to save Rugenski's life, Shepherd and two customers took turns performing CPR.
By the time first responders arriveds, Shepherd and the two customers had accomplished their task.
“He was not breathing and he did not have a pulse,” Shepherd said. “But we brought him back and we kept him back.”
Only after Rugenski made it to Oakwood Hospital did his family realize just how fortunate he had been. Lillian Shannon, Rugenski’s sister, was told that if CPR had not been performed at the store, her brother would not have survived.
“She’s our angel,” Shannon said of Shepherd.
Shannon met with Shepherd to thank her and to share the good news about Rugenski’s recovery.
"Once I found out he lived, I was ecstatic," Shepherd said. "I cried, overjoyed, completely overjoyed."
Shepherd’s actions earned her deserved praise, but she was keen to remain modest about her contribution.
“I just look at it like I was just doing what I needed to do, to diffuse the situation and have a positive outcome,” she told FOX 2.