PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A local woman who was finishing her holiday shopping was thrust into the middle of a life-changing and potentially life-saving situation.
She’s just glad she was there to help.
Like everyone this time of year, Pam Meyer was just trying to finish up her holiday shopping. But steps outside of a local Walmart, there was little more than the normal hustle and bustle.
“I was pushing my buggy to go to my car,” she said, “I noticed there was a lady laying on the floor by the glass doors at Walmart.”
That lady, as Meyer would soon find out, was in cardiac arrest and had no pulse. Without a second thought, Meyer, an operating room nurse at Shadyside Hospital, went to work.
“I just started CPR, just like this, 30 times a minute,” she said. “And I just kept pressing on her chest until the Baldwin paramedics showed up.”
Meyer said she yelled to the crowd for help, to store employees, to fellow shoppers, but no one stepped up.
So for 15 minute, Meyer feverishly worked to keep the woman alive by herself.
“While I was doing CPR, it was only me,” she said.
“If I wasn’t there, I’m not sure what would have happened with this lady and I still don’t really know,” Meyer added.
As luck – or fate – would have it, Meyer is a CPR instructor. She’s taught hundreds of people how to perform the lifesaving technique. But this woman was her first “live” patient.
“I have a big heart and it doesn’t – somebody was dying and that’s what I felt that I needed to do,” she said.
Meyer knows that she did all she could do, but says more people need to be trained.
“My concern is for anyone that’s out there, if there is nobody that can take care of people that are in cardiac arrest in a facility such as Walmart or Sears, or a big facility, whatever, whoever they are, I think employees need to be trained on how to do CPR,” she said.
The woman was taken to Jefferson Hospital, but the hospital is not releasing any information on her condition.
A Walmart spokesperson says as soon as they were aware of what happened, they did everything they could to make the woman comfortable until medics arrived.