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Vacationing RN saves life of woman in Arizona

A Pennsylvania nurse is being commended by the family of a woman whose life she helped save while on vacation in Arizona.

Sandy Kohler, RN, was visiting Scottsdale with her husband and waiting for a table with friends at Sumo Maya on Dec. 5 when someone needed her help, according to a Dec. 15 article in the Arizona Republic. Kohler, her husband and their friends had come to the restaurant thinking reservations had been made online, but the reservations had not gone through.

Kohler works as a recovery room nurse at Grand View Hospital in Sellersville, Pa., according to the article. She saw a group of people laying an older, unresponsive woman on the floor beside her chair. Kohler let the diners know she was a nurse.

“We were kind of walking around taking a look at the place, then we were going to go [somewhere else],” Kohler said in the article. “We were just ready to walk out the door of the restaurant. … It was my husband who said, ‘Hey, Sandy, somebody might need your help.’ I went up and, in my assessment, it appeared that she wasn’t breathing. She was pretty grayish and pretty clammy.”

Kohler opened the woman’s airway, checked for a pulse and began performing CPR along with a man at the table, the article said. By the second round of compressions, Kohler told the newspaper, the woman was starting to become conscious. She was making eye contact when the paramedics arrived.

The Kohlers and their friends then went to another restaurant next door. The woman’s family did not know exactly who the mystery nurse was who saved their loved one’s life, though her grandson asked Kohler what her name was just before she left to go to the other restaurant, according to the article. “He asked me my name, I said, ‘Sandy’ and he gave me a great big hug,” Kohler told the newspaper. “I didn’t even really get his name, and I felt like they had better things to worry about than me.”

The woman’s relatives who were with her on the night Kohler performed CPR — the D’Appollonio family of Phoenix — wrote an open letter to the newspaper thanking the “angel nurse” who had disappeared from the restaurant shortly after her good deed.

Friends of Kohler’s in Pennsylvania alerted her to the Arizona Republic story about the incident, which had also appeared in USA Today, according to the article. The Kohlers plan to connect with the D’Appollonios the next time they are in Arizona, the article said. A Sumo Maya spokeswoman invited the two families to dine there together, according to the article.

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By | 2016-01-15T20:17:33-05:00 January 15th, 2016|Categories: Nursing News|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sallie Jimenez
Sallie Jimenez is content manager for healthcare for from Relias. She develops and edits content for the blog, which covers industry news and trends in the nursing profession and healthcare. She also develops content for the Digital Editions. She has more than 25 years of healthcare journalism, content marketing and editing experience.

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