Man who lost wife saves unresponsive woman with CPR: 'You're not gonna die'

AVON LAKE, OH (WOIO) - If you walked into a restaurant, as an Avon Lake man did, and saw someone unresponsive on the floor -- would you know what to do? He did.

James Zaleski jumped into action because he lost his wife in February, and when he saw the situation, he was motivated.

"I'm not having anyone else die on me this year, OK, I already had one," he says he told the unconscious woman. "You're not gonna die here."

He had no formal training in CPR, but had seen it done and repeated what he had witnessed.

"I just remembered the compressions are supposed to be four, a series of four then the breath," he said.

He didn't get immediate results, but kept on.

"I gave her air three times and when she released the air and didn't breath back in, I kept with the compressions until they came back," he said.

Avon Lake Fire Chief Christopher Huerner says Zaleski did the right thing.

"That first component that CPR is critical if someone is gonna survive, even with all of our efforts," Huerner said.

Paramedics got there in four minutes, but even that short time could have harmed the woman if not for CPR, according to Huerner.

"If she didn't have blood flowing to her heard and brain for those four minutes she could have lost enough tissue that our efforts wouldn't have made a difference," he said.

The woman who Zaleski revived is gonna be OK, thanks to the quick help she got. A lesson for all to learn CPR.

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