By Andrea Cordle
Talk about being in the right place at the right time.
Last year, Melissa Flemings was attending a gathering with family and friends to watch an Ohio State football game. During halftime, she and a friend ran to Giant Eagle in Grove City to pick up a few things.
“I just didn’t feel well,” said Flemings. “I sat down in the little café then I felt like I couldn’t breathe.”
Fleming’s friend called 911.
Flemings, who was 46 at the time, was having a heart attack. When it comes to cardiac arrest, every second counts. Luckily, for her, help was just seconds away.
Jackson Township firefighter/paramedic Chris Fraley said the call came in just as the squad was driving down Stringtown Road, right in front of the grocery store.
“We were there within seconds,” said Fraley.
Flemings said it all happened so quickly.
“They showed up so fast,” she said. “It just all fell into place.”
The emergency responders took Flemings to Mount Carmel West, where Fraley also worked.
She said Fraley would check up on her in the hospital.
“It was Chris who gave me CPR, and then he would stop in while I was in the hospital to see how I was doing,” said Flemings.
In the year since her heart attack, Flemings has made a good recovery. She has made changes to her diet and has been exercising more.
“I recently had a checkup and I have no residual effects,” said Flemings.
To celebrate the occasion, Fleming’s friend, Kim O’Day planned a surprise ‘rebirth of life’ party. O’Day decided to invite the first responders who saved Fleming’s life.
Fraley was on of the firefighters who attended the party.
“It’s unusual to stay in touch with the people you help,” he said. “It doesn’t happen very often. I’m glad to see the outcome.”
Flemings said it was a big surprise to see her lifesavers at the party.
“I am just so appreciative to be able to thank them,” said Flemings. “Their quick response is why I’m here.”