A guard at Wallsend Village shopping centre was the first person Elermore Vale’s Kerry Woseen wanted to see when she was discharged from hospital.
“I just wrapped my hands around him. I’m so grateful,” Ms Woseen said.
“I went to say something but I couldn’t speak. All I could say was ‘Thank you’.”
Security supervisor Phil Colelough, of Maryland, was the man who saved her life.
Ms Woseen, a shop assistant at Wallsend Coles, was on her lunch break when she suddenly fell to the floor.
“I was in the food court and apparently I just dropped.
“I had no pulse, I wasn’t breathing,” she said.
“I can’t even remember the night before. So that’s only what I know.”
Mr Colelough was in his office when he heard about the incident.
“One of the tenants told me a woman had fallen down in the food court.
“Obviously I came out to the scene. When I knelt down to her I actually saw who it was, I’ve known Kerry for a while.
“I saw the corner of her lips were turning blue.”
A doctor working at Wallsend Village checked for Ms Woseen’s pulse with a stethoscope.
“She couldn’t hear anything,” Mr Colelough said, “So I went over and grabbed the defibrillator and went through the motions.
“It [the machine] did check again and couldn’t find her heart beat, so it went through the process of standing clear and delivering a shock, processing it again, and then I commenced CPR.”
Mr Colelough said he couldn’t detect a pulse for the four minutes he was on the floor.
“Even the paramedics praised him,” Ms Woosen said.
“They said if it wasn’t for his actions I would not be here.”
After a week-and-a-half stay in John Hunter Hospital and a further two months recovery, Ms Woseen returned to work at Coles’ deli on Monday.
“I’m just doing three-hour shifts at the moment to ease my way back in,” she said.
“It’s been good to get back.”
The 49-year-old said her doctors are unsure why she went into cardiac arrest.
“My arteries are fine, my heart’s fine, the MRI and the blood test came back fine,” she said.
“Because I can’t remember it’s really surreal to me.
“I just get a bit emotional about it.”
Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery presented Mr Colelough with a community service award on Monday.
“At the end of the day, it’s the old cliche that it’s part of your job,” Mr Colelough said.
He felt good seeing Ms Woseen return to the shopping centre, he said.
“When I saw her in her work uniform it was nice.
“It was a fantastic outcome.”