STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Willie DeLancey punched into his night job at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Marble Falls like he had done countless times before.
At about 2 a.m. Sept. 18, DeLancey complained to his supervisor of heart and jaw pain and slow breathing and asked if he could rest. So the two and other staff went to the break room, only to see DeLancey slide onto the couch.
The 54-year-old Granite Shoals man suffered a heart attack, and his co-workers sprang into action. One was familiar with cardio-cerebral resuscitation, created specifically for those who collapse from cardiac arrest, and began administering it on DeLancey.
“He knew exactly what to do in that moment,” said Maison DeLancey, Willie’s son. “(Another) talked to him and tried to keep him comfortable. For about seven to eight minutes, they gave him CCR.”
Once EMS personnel arrived, it took them 22 minutes to get a pulse, Maison said.
Maison added that what saved his dad was he wasn’t sleeping, which would have meant the heart attack would have gone unnoticed. As it was, Willie was at work and his co-workers realized what was happening.
After the EMS crew transported Willie to Baylor Scott and White Medical Center-Lakeway, doctors discovered he had 100 percent blockage in his right valve. His brain had been without oxygen for 30 minutes.
Still, the cortex of the brain, which plays a key role in memory, attention, perception, cognition, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness, was intact, and his heart and lungs were good, Maison said.
That explains why Willie has been improving every day since mid-September.
The DeLancey family knows Willie’s chances improved dramatically because of Lowe’s co-workers Jimmy Murrill, Jackie Dentel, Kim Shrubar, and Joseph Williams.
“I just want to say thank you to those people for doing what they did and saving him,” Maison said. “We’re thankful people knew what to do in that situation and that he was at work.”