NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio — Three employees of an Ohio Little Caesars are being hailed as heroes, credited with helping save a co-worker’s life.
Gilbert Gaynesbloom, 63, fell unconscious in full cardiac arrest at the restaurant, and the actions of his quick-thinking co-workers were all caught on camera.
While 34-year-old Keralyn Songer rushed to call paramedics, 35-year-old Nicole Strong, who learned CPR in high school, cleared Gaynesbloom’s airway and got him on his back.
Brody Ferris, 24, immediately started CPR. Ferris had just learned the lifesaving technique for a summer lifeguard job.
All the while, Strong kept performing mouth-to-mouth.
Because the trio kept him alive until paramedics arrived, Gaynesbloom was able to have life-saving emergency surgery at Altman Hospital. He’s expected to make a full recovery and is thankful for his three co-workers.
“They essentially started to save my life. Thank you so much. Thank you all and thank you, everyone,” Gaynesbloom said.
On Friday afternoon, Andrea Tyson, the owner of the pizza shop, threw a party to recognize her employees for their life-saving efforts and showered them with 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,” Tyson said. “I know he wouldn’t be here.”
Paramedics said that without the actions of his co-workers, Gaynesbloom would’ve suffered brain damage or died.
“At the time of the incident, I only had three lifeguarding classes at the YMCA,” Ferris said. “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.”
“Honestly,” Strong said, “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.”
“I’m not a hero,” Songer said. “I did what any normal caring human being would do for somebody else who was in trouble.”
Gaynesbloom said he looks forward to getting back to work at the pizza shop and at his full-time job, teaching at Kent State University. He’s also grateful for a second chance to spend time with his loved ones.
“I’ve got children and grandchildren,” Gaybesbloom said. “I want to see them grow up.”