BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – About a month ago, a little girl hugged workers inside of the Giant Eagle in Boardman. She’s alive because of their quick action when her heart stopped beating from an undiagnosed medical condition. Monday night, those four workers were honored.
Chris Spencer, Christine Kennedy, Sara Jeffrey and Tiffany Adkins are not just workers at Giant Eagle, they’re all heroes in the eyes of Alex Lucas — the 5-year-old girl whose heart stopped in the store.
“I don’t think that we had a moment to think, we just reacted. We went to, ‘If that was my kid in there, I would want anyone to react the way that the four of us did,'” Kennedy said.
Alex and her family went to the Boardman trustees meeting on Monday as the four were honored for jumping in to help when she collapsed in the bathroom. Each played a role, along with Alex’s mother, in performing CPR, calling 911 and using an AED to keep her alive.
“When they were in there so fast it was just amazing to see the response that they had,” said Lori Lucas, Alex’s mother.
The day was emotionally draining for everyone. For the four who helped, not knowing what happened once the little girl was taken to the hospital was especially tough.
“After she was shocked, she started to cry and she left and we didn’t know what happened, so we did have to wait until the next day. So I’m probably speaking for all of us when I say none of us probably slept. We were very emotionally drained until we heard from her,” Kennedy said.
The very next day, Alex’s grandmother got in touch to give them an update on her condition.
Now, Alex and her family go into the store from time to time. It’s a reminder to everyone who was there that day.
“It’s such a breath of relief to see her and to see her in her natural state, talking and playing. It’s a memory that you want to have,” Adkins said.
And a sight that Alex’s mother will forever be thankful to them for.
“I think it’s awesome that they’re being recognized. Again, they did so much for our family and I’m just very grateful,” Lori said.
After that day, Alex was diagnosed with a heart condition called CPVT. Her family says she is doing well and that she has a permanent defibrillator on her chest.
As for the heroes, each said if it happened again, they wouldn’t do a thing differently.