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2 Nurses Save Woman's Life at Cary Mall

Posted November 25, 2006

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— It was a well thought out plan. Melissa Phillips wanted to introduce her coworker, Kim Cox, to the chaos of shopping the day after Thanksgiving.

The two nurses team up to treat patients at Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital in Dunn, and Phillips wanted to take that teamwork to the mall in Cary.

"She laid a huge guilt trip on me," Cox said. "She didn't want to ride to Cary by herself."

Phillips finally talked Cox into going on the trip, and the two arrived at Cary Towne Center at 5 a.m. Friday. They shopped for four hours and were just about to go in and look at shoes when a woman in her 60s collapsed right in front of the store.

"We said, 'We're nurses, we'll help,'" said Phillips. "That's when we realized she wasn't breathing and she didn't have a pulse."

Phillips started chest compressions, while Cox gave the woman mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Together, they performed CPR for 15 minutes until the ambulance arrived.

"We were really afraid she wasn't going to do well, because we didn't know what had happened to her," Phillips said.

The two nurses never got the woman's name, but mall officials called them Friday night to tell them she survived and is doing well.

"We were talking about it this morning with some of our co-workers, and we were all crying," Cox said. "We're just so thankful. It's great to know hopefully she's going to be around for Christmas with her family."

Both women said that they were at that mall on Friday for a reason.

"We were there for a purpose, to fulfill some kind of purpose, and we did," Cox said.

Phillips and Cox did end up going into the shoe store and picked out several pairs. However, the manager of the shoe store saw what they did to save the other woman, and she gave both of them the shoes for free.
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