Hero waitress saves diner's life

March 5, 2008 7:00:01 AM PST
A Gwynedd-Mercy College student put her knowledge to good use in order to save a life. It was Sunday night at dinnertime at the Lamplighter Tavern in Havertown. 19-year-old Genevieve Jordan was one of several waitresses there when an elderly diner became very ill.

"He was just slumped over and his son was going 'Dad, dad.' We didn't know if he was choking," Stefanie Hamnold said.

"He didn't look like he was breathing. His lips were turning purple; his face was turning purple. He didn't look good," Kate Pfeffinger said.

911 was called, but the man had no pulse. CPR was required.

"Someone said who knows CPR, no one else said anything, I said I do," Genevieve Jordan said.

As fate would have it, Genevieve is a cardiovascular technology major and she went to work, for the first time, on a live person, not a mannequin.

"At one point he started to cough. It was just a little cough?it was a good sign. It means air was getting into his lungs," Genevieve said.

Along with the cough, the man's pulse started picking up.

The ambulance arrived and the man was whisked to Delaware County Memorial Hospital where he is now listed in critical condition.

Genevieve learned CPR at Gwynedd Mercy College. Her professor says she tells her students to be prepared because an emergency can happen anytime.

"It doesn't often happen, but thank God she was there when it did happen. I'm very proud of her. In my book she's an A plus," Andrea Reiley-Helzner, Genevieve's professor at Gwynedd-Mercy College, said.

"For me, it was one of the scariest things I ever had to do. That person's life was in my hands," Genevieve, the hero, said.