Mary Strong nearly died in a car on Highway 117 near Mount Olive. As she bit into her lunch, a seizure made her choke on the food and pass out in front of her children. Jessie Faison had just left his CPR recertification class and pulled over to help. As Faison put his training into practice, Strong weakened and turned gray. After several minutes, Faison was able to force out the food, allowing Strong to breathe again.
"After a while, I heard her make a small cough, and I told someone, 'Well, she's going to make it now because she made that cough and restored her breathing,'" Faison says.
Strong says it was like God sent Faison at the right time.
"I don't remember anything until I woke up laying on the ground," Strong says. "I knew I was on the ground. I knew I was on the highway, but I didn't know exactly where."
Faison's employer required him to take the class, but he had no idea how soon it would pay off.
"I wish that everybody would try to take some kind of first aid class," Faison says. "We need it. Everybody needs it."
Strong says she now knows how important CPR training can be.
"Most people need to take and learn CPR, because they don't know when they're going to have to help save somebody's life," Strong says.
Faison and Strong have been friends all their lives. The seizure that made Strong choke was the first one she ever had.