ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A 69-year-old woman was able to thank the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office deputies who helped save her life after she went into cardiac arrest.
Shirley Bennet went to the Arapahoe County Courthouse last month for jury duty. The next thing she remembered is when she woke up in the hospital days later.
“I went through a crisis totally unexpected and God sent angels with skin and invisible wings that happen to be in this place at this time for such a time as this,” Bennet said.
“I remember walking outside and sitting on a bench and I remember waking up four days later,” Bennet said.
Bennet went into cardiac arrest outside one of the courtrooms. When Arapahoe County deputies found her, they immediately started administering CPR.
“That’s what we’re trained to do – keep going, keep going, keep going,” Sgt. Robert Chase, who was the first deputy on scene, said.
They continued CPR for 10 minutes until paramedics with South Metro Fire Rescue arrived to give Bennet a breathing tube and rush her to the hospital. When it comes to cardiac arrest, paramedics say early intervention is key.
“Thank ya’ll for stepping up because you literally, you made the difference,” Jonathan Apfelbaum with SMFR said of the deputies.
On Thursday, Bennet finally had the chance to thank the deputies who saved her life.
“I wanted to speak from my heart to know that you didn’t just bless me, you blessed my family who’s here. You blessed me that I can go on and live and do the things I need to do,” Bennet said.
Bennet says this is a full-circle moment as she used to teach CPR to others.
“In my previous job, before I retired, I taught CPR classes there for a number of years, not knowing it would go full circle one day that would be the thing that changed my life,” Bennet said.
Bennet says she now has an even greater appreciation of life.
“I loved life and living before this happened, but I love it even more now,” Bennet said.
On Thursday, each deputy involved received a certificate to recognize their heroic act.
“To save somebody’s life like Shirley’s, it’s just rewarding,” Chase said.