It was just another normal night when the break room chatter at Walmart in Georgetown was interrupted. Third shift stocker Gage Murphy heard a crash. Fellow Walmart employee Marty Roberts had collapsed and fallen to the floor at the table beside him. Her body went into convulsive seizures.
“It was scary,” said Murphy. “I was nervous and scared for her life.”
But Murphy had coincidently enrolled in an emergency medical training professional (EMTP) course in Lexington just weeks before. He knew from the information presented in the course that she was producing agonal breaths. Agonal breathing is described on the Red Cross website as isolated or infrequent gasps that occur in the absence of normal breathing in an unconscious patient and can occur after the heart has stopped beating. The breaths are considered a sign of cardiac arrest.
Murphy checked her vital signs but did not detect a pulse. He began administering CPR. Moments later and by the time the paramedics arrived on the scene, he said he did feel a pulse.
“The paramedics were there really fast and then I just stepped aside and they took over, said Murphy.”
The paramedics took Roberts to Lexington’s Central Baptist Hospital where she was treated for a heart attack.
Murphy is a 2014 graduate of Scott County High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation and once his four-year enlistment was completed, he moved back to Scott County. He is interested in a career as an EMTP and hopes to complete the EMTP course in the future. Murphy had only been a Walmart employee for approximately seven days when Roberts had her attack, he said.
Roberts was beginning her night shift as the overnight support manager when she stopped to joke with Walmart co-manager Jerri Ann Clark.
“She was fine, laughing and just getting ready to start her shift,” Clark said. She wasn’t aware of any health issues and everything seemed normal. Clark added it was amazing Murphy was on hand to help.
“The first responders told us if Gage hadn’t administered CPR, she probably would have died from her heart attack,” said Clark. “Powerful forces were working for her that night.”
Roberts is currently on leave of absence and recovering at home. Murphy is humble about his actions saying, “I just did what I was trained to do.”
Jackie Anders can be reached at email@example.com.