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January 22, 2007

Bainbridge --  Quick action from pharmacy technicians and a police officer save a man's life. 

Two days after having surgery, Sylvester Harris was at CVS drugstore in Bainbridge when stitches from his carotid artery surgery popped, and he began hemorrhaging. Pharmacy workers, who applied pressure to the site, kept him alive until an ambulance got there.

Shonda Taylor was with Sylvester Harris a the CVS pharmacy when....  "All of the sudden it just, just... The thing just burst open, and started shooting [blood] everywhere like a sprinkler."

Stitches put in after Harris' carotid artery surgery ruptured.  "Blood was coming out of his neck like right here," Taylor said. "It was just going everywhere, and I guess out of instinct, I ran over there..." And placed life-saving pressure on his neck.

Taylor called 911 while her coworkers Louanna Gandy and Jeanna Watson tried to help Harris.  They used paper towels to  apply pressure to the wound, and tried to keep him conscious. 

"We kept talking to him," she said.  "That was one of the key things my instructor at the college had told us was to keep him conscious keep talking to him."

The call for help went out to EMS but corporal Ray Cox of Bainbridge public safety heard the call, and was just a few blocks away.  Trained as a first responder, he decided to come straight here and see if he could help.

When Cox got there, he took over until EMS arrived. "Never let go of the wound, I rode in the ambulance with the EMS to the hospital, held the pressure on the wound all the way into the emergency room."

Harris was stabilized at Memorial Hospital and then transported back to Archbold Hospital in Thomasville, where he was in Intensive Care for a week. 

If Harris had been by himself when this had happened, the results could have been disastrous. "He would have died... Pretty quickly," said Cox.

Harris is still at Archbold and in fair condition.  Representatives from Archbold say that an incision opening after a procedure is not uncommon. 


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