Amy Hynes was prepared for another average Saturday morning shift when she went to work on November 5th. However, things were far from average.
Like any other morning, the smell of coffee, bacon and toast filled the air in Chicken Chef in Portage la Prairie, but something out of the ordinary was about to happen.
According to witnesses, it was around 9:30 a.m. when people in the restaurant started noticing a gentleman in dire medical distress at his table. It was at this time that Hynes, a server at the restaurant since 2020, jumped in to help Mike, a man she knows as one of her regulars.
"I was just about to go back into my waitress station when my boss had called me over to tell me that there was something wrong with Mike," says Hynes. "But when I ran over, he was unresponsive, slumped over and at that point, barely breathing. And then he started to turn blue. That's when I got him on his back, and then I started performing CPR on him."
Thankfully due to her fast efforts, Hynes helped Mike stabilize in time for the first responders to get to the scene.
"I haven't heard from Mike yet, but he was doing good. I know he was upright and talking before he left."
Hynes describes her response as automatic, noting that growing up in a military household and receiving CPR training in the past helped prepare her for this situation like no other.
"I wasn't really thinking, and it didn't start hitting me until a little bit after. It was really something that past training just kind of taught me just to start doing. You can't really think about it."
Mark Spencer, a man who was just sitting down for his coffee, also stepped in to help. He says that by the time he got to the distressed man, he was already purple and not breathing.
"He came and went a few times on us, and we saved the guy's life. When the paramedics arrived, they had to use a defibrillator on him, and they brought him back, so he was alert and awake."
Spencer says that for Hynes to step up without thinking was an incredible sight, adding that this should show how vital CPR training is.
"It can happen anytime, and the baby boomers are getting older, so there's going to be more of it," continues Spencer. "Be alert and pay attention. You never know who's going to go into medical distress around you."
As for Hynes, while the whole experience was emotional, she simply just hopes Mike is doing well, noting she will never take any of her regulars for granted.
"I'm quite thankful they're all healthy and that I was able to step in when I could because I want to see Mike back here smiling at me from table 31."