Vidant workers save a life at church Sunday morning

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – There was a real life miracle for one congregation this morning.

Thanks to medical staff that attends Unity Free Will Baptist Church and a special device, a lady is now recovering at Vidant Medical Center from a possible heart attack.

“We were able to be that bridge until the EMS got here,” said Tammy Payne.

Tammy Payne, a Nurse Manager, was at the right place at the right time.

“I kept feeling for a pulse and then Dr. Christiano showed up and we could still feel a pulse, and then we lost her pulse and that’s when we initiated CPR.”

Payne and three other Vidant employees quickly responded to a woman who passed out right before service began Sunday morning. They used a device called an AED. The church received the life-saving machine last year, and it paid off this morning.

“The device will analyze the patients rhythm and advise appropriate treatment at that point and time and the most important treatment for certain abnormal heart rhythms is immediate shock to try to restore regular rhythm, which without this device, we would not be able to do that,” said Dr. Christiano.

Interventional cardiologist Dr. Tony Christiano says it’s reassuring to know that everyone helping was trained, which allowed him to quickly assess the larger problem.

“In her case, she was very fortunate she did not spend a significant down time without those important systems being adequately monitored and we addressed it as best we could in this setting.”

Payne says she’s she glad she was able to help.

“It makes you feel good that you have been able to touch somebody and make an impact and hopefully from this experience, she will recover and be able to live normal afterwards or somewhat normal.”

The woman, whose name was not released in relation to HIPA laws, is recovering tonight at Vidant Medical Center. The pastor says he is proud that his church was equipped to respond to this type of emergency.

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