Off-duty officer saves man from heart attack at Home Depot

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.

“I’M HERE TO HELP” You do not need a badge to save someone’s life. On October 1st, Officer Matt Denton was off duty...

Posted by CHP - Modesto on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

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.

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