Cherie Baker and Christy Sanders are shown in the Lynn Garden Restaurant on Friday. Photo by David Grace.
KINGSPORT — Christy Sanders and Cherie Barker went to work at the Lynn Garden Restaurant on Jan. 28 as they would any other work day. The breakfast crowd came in, they chatted with regular customers and went about the day’s routine.
But that day was anything but routine.
Johnny, one of the restaurant’s regular customers, came in that Tuesday morning like he does most days for breakfast or coffee.
“He never made it in the door. He fell in the lobby area” said Barker. “We were outside, out back and when we came in (another co-worker) hollers at us.”
At that moment, Sanders and Barker and another co-worker went to Johnny and pulled him out of the lobby, into the restaurant so the two women could have room to attempt CPR. The two women believe Johnny is in his 60s, a rather large man standing over six feet tall.
“Just please God let him breathe,” Barker said of what was going through her mind at the time. “I couldn’t get any air in him at first. I finally pushed hard enough, I heard his ribs crack, then I saw his chest go up.”
Sanders said her adrenaline kicked in and she didn’t hesitate to act, but admits she doesn’t remember the specifics of what happened next.
“Nobody was doing anything. (A co-worker) said I jumped over the counter and I heard someone say he’s dead on the floor. I remember starting compression and the next thing I know the EMS were here and then I remember standing there watching and praying,” Sanders said. “All I could think about was just trying to do something to get him to breathe.”
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