When an elderly customer had a heart attack, Krystal Pursche knew just what to do.
It was New Year’s Eve, and Krystal Pursche, an electronics team lead at Walmart Store 709 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, was in the middle of her shift. Around 7:45 pm a “code white” came through on her walkie-talkie.
Though a code white is usually a call for coaches, Krystal says she felt an instinctual need to respond. A customer in the housewares department was having a medical emergency.
“I just had a feeling I needed to see if they needed help,” says Krystal. When she got to the scene, she found two coaches with an older gentleman. He wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse.
Krystal acted quickly. A former police officer, she knew CPR—though she’d never had to do it. “There was no thinking about it,” she admits. She started CPR immediately.
A Close Call
“There were people around; his wife was screaming—I don’t remember everything. I just remember looking at him,” Krystal says. “And then his eyes opened, and he started mumbling a little bit.”
By the time EMTs arrived, the customer was conscious and breathing on his own. His wife of 49 years has been keeping Krystal updated on her husband’s condition. She’s brought Krystal cards and flowers. “They are a really sweet family,” Krystal says.
According to Krystal, the customer’s doctors say he wouldn’t have made it if she hadn’t started CPR right away. He had what some call a “widowmaker,” an almost complete blockage in his LAD artery.
All in a Day’s Work
Krystal is a mother to three kids. She joined Walmart in 2019 after her husband’s military job relocated them to the Kentucky.
What does Krystal enjoy about her job? She likes the opportunities to learn new skills and move up. “I make it a goal to know a lot of things, and I learn very quickly,” she says. “I like to do the best at anything I do, so I try really hard.”
Krystal also appreciates how people work together at Walmart. The night of the customer’s medical emergency, team members pulled together. She says two coaches were immediately at the scene, and the store manager, who was home, arrived within minutes.
Thanks to the quick action of Krystal and her teammates, these customers will get to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. It’s all in a day’s work.