East Palestine waitress's quick thinking saves elderly woman's life
A typical Saturday shift at The Original Roadhouse in East Palestine took a dangerous twist, but the actions of a quick-thinking waitress helped to save the life of an elderly woman.
A typical Saturday shift at The Original Roadhouse in East Palestine took a dangerous twist, but the actions of a quick thinking waitress helped to save the life of an elderly woman.
Candice Desanzo says she was working Saturday, taking care of a family. She walked into the dining room of the restaurant to find a concerning sight.
"There was this elderly lady and her head was slumped down and her son was next to her and he was saying mom, mom are you ok," Desanzo said. "I could see that she was completely blue."
That's when Desanzo burst into action.
"I came back here tried to get a pulse," she said.
But when she couldn't find a pulse on the woman she instantly reacted.
"I just kind of started pushing tables," Desanzo said. "There was a woman sitting here and I said' We need to get her on the floor' and she said "'what' and I said 'we need to get her on the floor because I'm going to need to do CPR if I can't find a pulse"."
"I just knew she was in trouble.," she explained. "I knew that if I didn't do something this was going to end very badly."
"Once we got her on the floor, I looked at the son, I think I was in shock and I said, do you want me to do CPR, and he was like yes," she described.
Desanzo said the woman's son talked to dispatchers while she performed CPR, slowly feeling the woman's breathe returning, she stopped compressions and began rubbing the woman's sternum.
"I kept saying Ruth, Ruth come back to me," she explains.
Desanzo continued, saying, "As soon as she spoke words it was like whew, it's like I was able to take a breath."
Paramedics got to the restaurant and took the woman to the hospital.
The scene left its mark on Desanzo, who says fire officials pulled her aside after things had calmed down.
"He looked over at me and he said thank god you were here. You did an amazing job," she said.
"My insides were just shaking because you question yourself. Did I do the right thing, did I hurt her, did I break her ribs, is she going to be ok? It all happened so fast it didn't feel real," Desanzo continued.
But Desanzo, who has been with The Original Roadhouse, already has an experience saving a life.
"Years ago I worked at another restaurant and one of the customers were actually choking. It went from giving the Heimlich to doing CPR because she was not getting any air, " she explains. "She was actually up and talking before the ambulance got there."
Desanzo has kept a card from that initial incident, as a reminder.
A part of it reads that the family thinks she a "true hero".
But Desanzo says she doesn't feel like a hero.
"I don't feel like I did anything great you know, but uh, it was just divine intervention that I was supposed to be here that morning," she says.
Desanzo said, "it just makes you feel good, knowing that maybe you're supposed to be here after all in the midst of all this."
Particularly when helping people was part of Desanzo's life plans.
"I went to Kent State University for nursing, which didn't work out," she says. "Even though I'm not a nurse today there's been so many times over the years that that nursing training has come into play."
Desanzo says Ruth, the woman she saved is doing ok.
Desanzo says she hopes to remain in contact with the family, and hopes Ruth recovers from the incident.