It was a busy Wednesday at a Taco Bell in Clarksville, Tennessee, on Aug. 12, when the drive-thru line came to a complete and sudden halt.
Looking outside, employees could see something unusual: A car intersecting the drive-thru, perpendicular to the rest of the line.
“We were seeing cars and hearing the bell go off, but nobody was coming through the drive-thru,” Sonja Frazier, a manager, told Clarksville Now.
“One of my managers looked on the camera and saw a car was parked the wrong way. It looked like it’d rolled into the drive-thru line and was blocking it.”
The 37-year-old went outside to see what all the fuss was about. Though she was a Taco Bell manager, she had six years of experience being a home health care worker, which proved to come in handy when she and another manager named Jonathan Jeanis reached the vehicle.
“When I got to the back door and saw it, Jonathan yelled, ‘He’s passed out!’ and I yelled to another employee to call the ambulance,” Frazier said.
“We opened the door, and he was blue. I told Jonathan to park the car, and we both pulled him out and put him on the ground. I said to put him on his left side. His hands and fingertips were blue. I found a pulse, but it was real vague. [Fellow employee] Anissa [Stewart] came out with the 911 dispatcher [on the phone], and they asked if anyone knew CPR.”
Frazier went against her fear of catching the coronavirus and did what she needed to do.
She started CPR, talked to the man when he started to gasp and had Jeanis find the man’s ID so she could use his name while talking to him.
“It was kind of crazy. I’m extremely scared of COVID-19 … but I would not leave him,” she admitted.
“He was trying to get something up. It sounded like a gurgle. I just kept doing the compressions until they got here. They didn’t immediately take over, so I guess I was doing it right.”
“When [the first responders] picked him up, his hand grabbed the guy’s arm,” she said.
After the ordeal, once the man was being taken to the hospital and her work was done, Frazier went outside to decompress, cry and smoke a cigarette.
But he nagged at her mind, and so she tracked him down on Facebook to make sure he was doing better.
“He reached back out and said thank you,” she said.
“He said he wanted to repay me, but this is repayment enough to know he’s OK.”
While plenty are calling Frazier a hero, she likes to think she just did what anyone would do if given the chance.
“I feel blessed,” she said. “I feel I did what everyone would’ve done. I didn’t care about his race, politics, none of that. … It never crossed my mind. It was his life and he needed help.”
“I feel like anybody that knows how to do so should jump at the opportunity to help. We are all human, and we all have to love each other and help.”
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