MODESTO, Calif. (KOVR) - An off-duty officer in California says he was in the right place at the right time when a stop at Home Depot turned into a call to save a man’s life.
For Christina Ewell and her husband, Leonid Kasperovich, a casual Thursday morning trip to Home Depot took a near deadly turn Oct. 1 when Kasperovich suffered a heart attack.
“We were looking at 4-by-4s when all of a sudden, he put up his hands to rest. But instead of resting, he fell face first into the lumber and began to hyperventilate,” Ewell said.
That was when off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer Matthew Denton jumped into action.
“She said, ‘He’s not breathing. He’s not breathing.’ So, at that point, I notice that he begins to turn blue,” Denton said.
The officer started doing CPR on the Home Depot floor, instructing Ewell how and when to perform mouth-to-mouth. It worked. Kasperovich was saved and taken to the hospital by paramedics shortly afterward.
“At first, it was just a sense of ‘Oh my gosh, he’s going. I’m losing him.’ And I was holding his head in my hands, watching him go,” Ewell said. “He saved my husband’s life.”
The family is forever grateful for Denton’s actions.
“We’d be at a morgue. We’d be at a funeral parlor right now, if it weren’t for Officer Denton,” Ewell said.
Though Denton is being hailed as a hero, the officer says he was just in the right place at the right time.
“It wasn’t about being a police officer. It was about being a human being. I knew if I didn’t act and didn’t use the skills that I knew how to do, that I’ve been trained to do, this guy would most likely lose his life,” he said. “For me, it was kind of a God moment: right time, right place.”
CHP Modesto says the incident is a reminder of how CPR training can save lives, and the department is urging people to learn the emergency technique.