When Regina Sanders’ heart stopped on Christmas Eve, her husband rushed to the phone and dialed 911.
Within minutes, responders arrived on the scene and were able to revive Sanders, saving her life.
Last week, the Smithfield Town Council honored 10 of the men and women who responded to that call. They work for the Smithfield Fire Department, Four Oaks Emergency Medical Services and Johnston County EMS.
The council gave Sanders an opportunity to thank the people who saved her life and shake each of their hands. She opted instead to give each of the emergency workers a heartfelt hug.
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“I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to thank” them, she said. “When my husband found me, I wasn’t breathing, I had no pulse, I had no response whatsoever.”
Sanders thanked the emergency workers and God for giving her a second chance at life. Not everyone gets that opportunity, she said, and she plans to be a a willing vessel for whatever God calls her to do.
Sanders’ husband, Daniel, said the emergency personnel help make Smithfield a wonderful place to live.
“To the first responders and everyone else, I love you,” he said. “I just thank them for what they did that night to bring my wife back to me.”
Sanders spent four days in the hospital, and she said her family waited to eat Christmas dinner until she came home.
Councilmen Travis Scott and Marlon Lee arranged for the special recognition. Scott described the Sanders family not only as active citizens but also dear friends.
Scott thanked the first responders for the sacrifices they make in order to save lives.
“These men and women put in countless hours of training and have efforts and teamwork like no other profession,” Scott said.
“I’d also like to say thank you to the families of the (emergency responders) because during these times, we understand your loved ones are away to help others.”