Pharmacist credited with saving woman in Hempfield
When John Cherry saw the unconscious woman in her car on Monday afternoon, he initially thought she was dead.
“And then I saw her breathe,” Cherry, 35, of Murrysville said. “And she was breathing once every maybe 10 seconds.”
So Cherry, the pharmacy team leader at the Giant Eagle at Eastgate Shopping Plaza in Hempfield, began performing CPR on the woman in the store's parking lot.
His actions likely saved her life.
“It was definitely one of the most humbling experiences of my life,” he said.
Cherry was working his shift at the pharmacy when a store manager ran back looking for anyone with medical training.
As a pharmacist, Cherry is trained in CPR.
He ran out to the parking lot and found the woman, who is a store employee, in her vehicle. Officials did not release the woman's name.
A passer-by who said he was a former EMT helped Cherry get the woman onto the ground while store employees called 911 and retrieved the automated external defibrillator.
Cherry said he did chest compressions for eight minutes and shocked the woman with the AED three times before paramedics arrived.
“Right about the time I was about to pass out was when the professionals got there and they took over,” Cherry said.
“It was quite an emotional ride there,” he said.
The woman was first taken to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg and then flown to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, where she underwent heart surgery on Tuesday, Cherry said.
A family member stopped at the pharmacy to let Cherry and the other employees know that she was in stable condition, and to pass along thanks and a message from the woman's doctors.
“They said she was potentially clinically dead,” Cherry said. “CPR saved her life, so I was quite thankful to hear that. I'm mostly just really happy that I could help.”
He was also glad the store had an AED, which the majority of Giant Eagle stores have in place.
“As a company we're certainly grateful to John and the store team members and others who acted quickly and came to her aid,” Giant Eagle spokesman Dick Roberts said. “They did use an AED as well, so obviously that made a difference.”
Cherry said he believes his CPR training — which he used for the first time — definitely helped as well.
“After my experience, I think everyone should have the training,” he said. “(I thought) I'm learning all this stuff and I'll probably never have to use it, and then boom.”
Jennifer Reeger is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Westmoreland used car dealers indicted in fraud
- Lawyers for convicted killer Smyrnes want info about death row
- Charges dismissed against former Westmoreland jail guard accused of sex with inmate
- Penn Township man pleads guilty to assaulting 3 police officers
- 2 from Westmoreland County charged in child porn investigation
- Sewickley Township agrees to lease for land for playground
- Greensburg Salem to consider additional cost-cutting measures
- Westmoreland County Blind Association building brimming with activity
- Ex-Derry Township man’s troubles mount
- Derry Area proposes 2-mill tax increase
- Walker: Scottdale, Everson plan Memorial Day events