An employee with first-aid skills immediately went to work on the man.
By AMANDA GARRETT
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
BAZETTA -- Wal-Mart employees are being credited with saving the life of a township man after he collapsed at the Elm Road store on Thursday afternoon.
Thomas Hartman, 58, was in line at the snack bar at 1:50 p.m. when he collapsed, said his sister Mary Lou Youngbluth of Fowler Township.
Electronics department manager Barb Fileger, trained in first aid for 20 years, immediately went to the snack bar when she heard the call for help over the store's intercom.
When Fileger arrived, she found Hartman on the floor without a pulse and not breathing.
Fileger, of Johnston Township, performed CPR on Hartman until paramedics arrived.
Hartman was in full cardiac arrest, and without Fileger's efforts he may not have survived, said another sister, Bonnie Rudge of Cortland.
"The CPR was done so well that they were able to restore a heart rhythm on the way to the hospital," she said.
Hartman was taken to Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital where he was admitted to the cardiac care ward.
Doctors told Youngbluth that Hartman had an irregular heartbeat. Hartman was taken to the Cleveland Clinic on Friday to receive a device to regulate his heart rhythm.
Youngbluth, Rudge and other family members came to Wal-Mart on Friday to thank Fileger.
"I told her that she's an angel who saved an angel," Youngbluth said. "My brother is such a special person who wouldn't be here without her."
Fileger said she is thankful that Hartman has a good prognosis.
"You're very calm during the time you're administering the CPR, but then afterwards you cry because you don't know how it's going to turn out," she said. "This time it looks like there's going to be a good outcome."