GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids nurse whose quick action saved a life outside of the hospital was honored Friday.
Wrangler Jeans giving Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital nurse Anna Marie Jenks their Everyday Hero award, after she revived a driver who passed out behind the wheel while traveling down Interstate 96.
It was early December when Jenks and her husband were driving east on I-96 towards Lansing and came upon a vehicle weaving in and out of the lane. When they looked closer, they saw the driver, Andy George, was unconscious.
“I saw his car go off the road and I looked over at my husband and said we have to stop. Stop right now,” said Jenks.
George’s truck veered off the road, narrowly missing a bridge, guard rail and trees before coming to a stop somewhere between the 60 and 61 mile markers.
Jenks, her husband and other Good Samaritans got George out of the vehicle.
George wasn’t breathing, so Jenks began CPR. After two rounds of chest compressions, George started coming back around.
“To get that, that deep breath it was just like, ‘oh my gosh.’ I just pulled back and held his hand. I’m like, ‘I’m not letting go,” recollected Jenks, as she stood next to George and his family during Friday’s award ceremony at Mary Free Bed.
An added award for Jenks: she got to see the end results of her efforts – four little girls who still have a father to hug.
“Every day that I worked with patients I get a little bit of reward too. But this was bigger… like on a greater scale,” said Jenks.
George said doctors still aren’t sure what happened. He said they think a motorcycle accident he was in months before may have caused a seizure that day.
“[I’m] so thankful that someone was able to A – be there, and then B – be willing to use the skills they’ve got,” George said.
“Obviously, I had a lot to get home for. We got there eventually and I couldn’t be more thankful,” he added.
Wrangler gave Jenks a $100 gift card, along with a gift basket and a donation on her behalf to the Drew Brees Foundation for families in need.
Wrangler found out about Jenks’ life-saving actions after seeing 24 Hour News 8’s story on the rescue in December.