Supermarket produce manager saved life of customer who dropped unconscious on aisle floor
Rhondda Foreman finds it hard to describe how grateful she is for the New Plymouth supermarket manager who gave her husband his life back.
It was Saturday afternoon when she got a call from the TSB Bank telling her someone with her 78-year-old husband's credit card had been brought into the emergency room at Taranaki Base Hospital.
Little did she know, her husband of 34 years, Ian Foreman, had suffered a severe heart attack and collapsed in the beauty aisle of Spotswood Countdown.
"Things started getting a bit hazy then. The next thing I was talking to a doctor at ED who said 'your husband's very critical and just breathing. Come quickly'," she said.
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"They said he had broken ribs and that whoever had done the CPR had known exactly what they were doing and they did it absolutely perfectly."
It wasn't till later that she found out it was the store's produce manager, Shane White, who had saved his life.
White, who did a first aid course through work last year, had rushed to the aisle when he heard a customer had collapsed to find another customer and one of his work mates already attempting CPR.
"After I got there he said he didn't really know what he was doing so I said 'I've got first aid training' and I took over," White said.
They initially got Ian taking irregular breaths, with the 111 operator telling them to continue the chest compressions.
"I had an idea of what I needed to do anyway and being able to get the coaching from the 111 operator was really good as well," White said.
He continued doing compressions until paramedics arrived and rushed Ian to hospital.
On Tuesday night Ian's condition deteriorated and the family gathered around to say their final goodbyes - but by the following morning he had pulled through.
Rhondda was nearly in tears as she tried to find the words to explain how much White's actions and the work of the other staff at the store meant to her and the rest of the family.
"If Ian had have died there last night, the CPR would have given us enough time to say goodbye and that's quite magical," she said.
"I think the world is a wonderful place when you come across people that go above and beyond the call of duty and I really think Countdown as a store deserves some praise for teaching these people to handle these things because they just come out the blue."
The staff member who was first on the scene went and visited Ian in hospital on Monday, while White and another staff member who helped visited him on Tuesday.
"They came up with this big basket of goodies of bikkies and chocolates and juice and fresh fruit," Rhondda said.
"It's overwhelming that feeling, to see this man that brought your husband back to life."
But White said he didn't consider himself a hero after what happened.
"People keep calling me a hero and I can see why, but to me, I just did what needed to be done. I did what I had been trained to do," he said.
"I think the paramedics, those guys are the heroes because they do this kind of stuff all the time and they know exactly what to do, and I think they don't get enough thanks."