Just a couple of weeks apart, two Woodstock residents (a police officer and a high school student) were at the right place at the right time. Their quick actions saved lives, and we wanted to share their stories.
Although February was American Heart Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association, anytime is a good time to sign up for a CPR course. You never know when you might have the chance to be someone’s hero.
Etowah High student Greg Jones
A similar event took place not quite two weeks later, but this encounter wasn’t publicized as well. Other than a Facebook post by Greg Jones’ mom Vicki, his life-saving deed went unnoticed for the most part. And that’s just as well with the Etowah High School junior, who doesn’t want too much attention.
According to Greg’s parents, on Feb. 8 at a local restaurant on Highway 92, a 21-month-old toddler started choking and passed out.
When the family yelled for help, Greg responded and performed CPR on the toddler until the paramedics arrived. The toddler was responsive and alert when he was transported to the hospital.
Greg and his best friend, Brett Lamonte, had just finished eating and were waiting at the register to pay when they heard the call for help.
While Greg shies away from publicity, he does want to encourage everyone to become CPR certified. Greg had just reviewed infant CPR training in his healthcare class at Etowah that morning. He received his CPR certification during his freshman year and is in the process of recertification. Greg wants to be a Navy corpsman or EMT when he graduates.
Woman Saved after Officer Performs CPR
It didn’t take long for news of Woodstock Police Officer Yvonne Letzin’s life-saving efforts to make the news. Atlanta station WGCL-TV ran a segment with an interview; the story also made the rounds on social media, online news outlets and local dailies.
During the TV interview, Officer Letzin said she was just doing her job, but it’s an encounter that she says she will never forget.
“The week after the incident, I just kept wondering how she was doing and I wanted to know if she was making any progress. I had a lot of friends and family texting me asking me how she was doing so I called the hospital the next Saturday to check on her. As I spoke to the nurse, they said that she had started to open her eyes and even try to talk. They told me that she was expected to make a great recovery. They said that if I hadn’t performed CPR that she probably wouldn’t have survived. I feel that God put me in that situation for a reason and that all I did was do his work to be able to be there for that woman and provide the medical assistance that I have been trained to do,” she said.
The facts, as stated in a Woodstock Police Department press release:
Miss Barbara, seated, with Kristina Wigington, left, of Woodstock Fire & Rescue, who responded to Officer Yvonne Letzin’s call, and Woodstock photographer Darleen Prem.
On Jan. 27, 2017, at approximately 1:30 p.m., Officer Letzin was conducting a routine patrol on Main Street in Woodstock when a vehicle approached her notifying her of a person who appeared to be sleeping on the sidewalk. When Officer Letzin located the woman lying on the sidewalk, a good samaritan, Mr. Brian Collins of Woodstock, had also stopped to assist the woman. Officer Letzin and Mr. Collins found the woman unresponsive with no pulse.
Officer Letzin, with the assistance of Mr. Collins, immediately performed CPR on the woman. A few moments later, the woman started to gasp for air. Woodstock Fire arrived on scene shortly thereafter and took over medical aid to the woman. She was subsequently transported to a nearby hospital. The woman has remained in the hospital, and, over the weekend, Officer Letzin visited with her. She is now expected to make a full recovery.
Officer Letzin has been with the Woodstock Police Department since 2013 and is assigned to Day Shift.