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Good Samaritans help save man’s life in Shawnee

SHAWNEE, Kan. – A man fell off his bicycle on the side of the road and stopped breathing.

Several Good Samaritans ran to his rescue. It happened near Johnson Drive and Woodland Drive where two people who first responders say helped bring him back to life recount what happened.

A group of strangers jumped into action to help save a man’s life after he was riding his bicycle and collapsed.

“I watched him fall over, like completely fall over,” Marina Johnson, 17, said, “and I thought he just hit his head maybe. Then I realized he wasn’t moving.”

Johnson saw the man collapse. When he didn’t respond to her questions or open his eyes, she immediately called 911 and ran to a nearby gas station for help.

Meantime, Amber Edwards spotted the man. He was still lying on the side on Johnson Drive, not breathing.

Edwards pulled over and started CPR.

“He was already turning grey,” Edwards said, “and he had no signs of life at all, no breath or anything.”

Edwards just had abdominal surgery. She pushed through the pain thinking of this man’s family and her own.

She carries an emergency bag and became recertified in CPR after her daughter died of a fentanyl overdose.

Her kit includes a CPR shield she used on the man.

“I had it, I didn’t know if I would ever need it,” Edwards said.

A couple more people pulled over to tag in on compressions.

“We always say you’re help until help arrives,” firefighter Phil Benak said.

Benak said people can save lives with hands only CPR.

He said first call 911. Then, start hard and fast chest compressions.

“When you’re doing CPR what happens is your heart stops,” Benak said. “So, if you’re giving compressions, you’re pumping the blood to the main organs. So, the quicker you can get on that, the better.”

Johnson said her lifeguard training kicked in. She stayed on the phone with 911 until the first responders arrived.

“I was on the phone with the operator pacing the CPR to make sure they were doing it right,” Johnson said, “in the same speed that it is effective in.”

They said first responders continued CPR and used an AED to shock the man twice, and that brought his heartbeat back.

Johnson said the man was coherent and talking before medics loaded the man in an ambulance to go to the hospital.

Among the group of Good Samaritans there were tears of relief. They hope he’s OK.

Johnson also hopes to one day meet the dispatcher who helped keep her calm and keep her group on pace with CPR.

Johnson and Edwards encourage everyone to get trained in CPR.

“I think it’s important to know CPR,” Johnson said. “Even if you don’t know it perfectly, I think it’s a good thing to take a class and learn it.”

Shawnee Fire is holding a free CPR training class Saturday, June 15 from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. It’s at the Fire Administration building, 22701 W. 68th Terr. Suite 101.