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EMT in the right place at the right time to save Jersey Shore man’s life

JERSEY SHORE — On what started out as an ordinary day in Kriss Blevens’ life in 2018, a decision to upgrade her plane seat on a flight home to New Hampshire resulted in an extraordinary meeting in which Blevens saved the life of a stranger.

“The terminal was extremely busy,” said Blevens, a nationally registered EMT. “(When leaving the plane) I went to take a right turn … In my vision on the left side, all I could see was the back of a black (security) jacket. As an EMT, I am really aware of my surroundings. I looked and, as the security guard came closer, I saw a body face down on the ground. I immediately realized this was a 9-1-1 situation.”

The body was that of Jersey Shore’s Frank E. Clark.

Blevens rushed to help the security guard safely flip Clark over onto his back.

“His skin was blue,” she said. “He was gurgling, he wasn’t taking in any air.”

Clark had no defined pulse, she added.

She and the security guard made use of an automated external defibrillator. They opened Clark’s shirt to expose his chest and did a jaw thrust to open his mouth.

“He needed suctioning,” Blevens said. “I can only say it was an angel that dropped a box of tissues next to me. I put wads of tissues down his mouth to absorb all of the liquid…that was the creative moment that saved his life.”

The two were able to get a CPR mask on Clark, then performed chest compressions in addition to shocking him with the defibrillator until the device finally detected a pulse.

After the harrowing event, Blevens shared the story on her Facebook page. Clark’s family found her this way, and sent her messages with updates on his recovery.

“We can’t thank her enough,” said Shirley Ann Clark, Frank Clark’s wife, adding her husband is doing well today, but doesn’t remember the incident.

The Clarks and Blevens, as well as Blevens’ husband, have reunited a few times since then as friends.

“It is an incredible miracle,” Blevens said. “It is like my husband and I gained a whole other family. This is a very special situation. This story is beautiful and with an amazing outcome.

“It is probably one of the most magnificent experiences that I have had in my life,” she said.

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