On one of the busiest shopping days of the year, a Thanksgiving miracle of sorts unfolded at a Best Buy store in Spokane Valley, Washington.
Kayla Palmer was working the register when an older gentleman came up to pay for his purchase. She started to worry when he leaned on the counter and complained about feeling dizzy. Within moments, he was sweating heavily and turned pale.
Thankfully, Kayla — a newly hired seasonal employee — also works as an emergency room tech and is going to school to be a nurse.
She sprang to action and started to assess the man’s condition. As she was asking him questions, his hands began to shake, and he became unresponsive. She got him down on the floor and checked his vitals. He wasn’t breathing, and she couldn’t detect a pulse.
Kayla began chest compressions and, after about a minute, he started to breathe again. She continued to help him until paramedics arrived and even called his wife to let her know what was happening.
“It all happened so fast,” she said. “I was just surprised by how clear it was and how quickly it came to me what I needed to do.”
It’s not the first time Kayla has helped someone in distress, though. She has performed CPR several times while working in the ER.
‘Such a coincidence’
Kayla joined Best Buy just a couple of weeks ago at the urging of her husband, Sean, who is the store’s home theater supervisor. Thanksgiving was only her third shift at the store.
As luck would have it, Kayla was only scheduled to work until 9 p.m. that night, but she asked to stay late. The incident took place about half an hour later. And, out of seven registers, the man happened to go to hers.
“It was all just such a coincidence,” Kayla said.
General Manager Tracy Mourar, who watched it all unfold, praised Kayla for acting so quickly.
“There was no hesitation at all,” Tracy said. “If anybody else would have been there, I think the outcome could have been very different. Nobody else could have reacted as fast as she did.”
Sean was working in the home theater department at the time this all happened. He didn’t know anything was wrong until he noticed the flashing lights from the fire truck and ambulance outside.
He walked to the front of the store and wasn’t surprised to find Kayla in the middle of things.
“No, not even a little bit,” he said. “Honestly, I knew if something like that was going to happen, she’d just jump right in.”
Needless to say, Sean now realizes he might have undersold Kayla on what her first Black Friday in retail would be like.
“I told her it was going to be crazy,” he said, “but I didn’t think it was going to be that crazy.”
To learn more about working at Best Buy, check out our careers page.