Postal carrier saves the life of a stranger

Postal carrier saves the life of a stranger. (Andrew Bisset WWMT)

A West Michigan postal carrier was able to save the life of a man in the middle of a busy Kalamazoo parking lot Wednesday afternoon.

Sarah Denton was delivering mail at the Dominos near West Michigan Avenue when she saw a man unconscious in a car.

She said, "His eyes were rolled into the back of his head, his breathing was very scarce and he kind of stopped at one point in time."

Denton is used to being responsible for people's mail, but Wednesday afternoon she found herself responsible for someone's life.

She said, "There was a lady trying to wake him up as if he was sleeping and you could immediately tell he wasn't sleeping he was completely unresponsive to what she was saying."

With the help of fellow bystanders, she was able to lay him on the ground and start CPR.

Paramedics later told her he overdosed on heroin.

Oshtemo Fire Chief Mark Barnes says Denton did the right thing, because that man likely only had minutes to live.

Barnes said, "From the time the heart stops beating, brain death will be able to occur in four to six minutes, that's a pretty short window."

A 911 operator helped Denton properly time her chest compressions over the phone.

Barnes said, "Most of our emergency medical dispatchers now are trained to do that, to teach citizen CPR. It's not as difficult as it used to be, we can do hands only."

Denton says she wasn't afraid.

She said, "There wasn't really enough time to be afraid, it was either you react and pull through or you don't."

Once paramedics arrived on the scene, Denton says they provided the man with Narcan and he sat upright and looked normal within just a few minutes.

She hopes others will take the time to get CPR training.

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