WE NEED YOUR HELP — Support your hometown newspaper by making a donation.

Five Towns Community Center volunteers help save heart attack victim


Nearly a year after being struck by car outside her Inwood home on Oct. 18, Sasha Young, who heads Gammy’s Pantry inside the Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence and some teenagers who volunteer at the Community Center helped to save a woman’s life on Oct. 7.

Outside the center in the parking lot between 3:30 and 4 p.m., the woman who regularly comes for the food available through Gammy’s Pantry and Long Island Cares, was unable to speak, Young said.

“I turned over Long Island Cares to the kids and ran out,” she said. “After a few minutes she had  a heart attack and went unconscious. I started CPR with the kids from the pantry assisting. After few sets, which seemed like forever, she began to vomit. Then unresponsive again. Continued CPR. Got a heart rate again.” The kids are the teenaged volunteers.

Young said that her daughter Alexandra Acost held the woman's head to comfort her. Angel Bran got a chair and along with Jonathan Folds helped her to the ground.  Alexis Acosta, also Young's daughter,  and Edwin Rodriguez worked the pantry. 

"It was teamwork in its finest," Young said. "It's always how the  dream works, but this time it save a life!"

Emergency medical personnel from the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department arrived and confirmed the woman suffered a heart attack. Using a defibrillator, they revived her and took her to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway.      

“Unfortunately, I lost both of my grandfathers to heart attacks,” Young said, fortunately all of the CERT and CPR classes over the years paid off.” CERT is the community emergency response team program that teaches volunteers disaster preparedness skills. CPR is cardio pulmonary resuscitation.