Bartender Praised for His 'Quick Thinking' After Saving Life of Customer Who Had a Heart Attack
A Texas bartender is being praised as a hero after he jumped into action and saved the life of a customer who was having a heart attack.
Nick Murray was working as a bartender at Downtown Cantina in Weatherford, Texas on Jan. 18 when the medical emergency occurred, according to a Facebook post by the restaurant.
While behind the bar, the restaurant said Murray noticed that a customer — identified as Gary Patton — "was having medical issues."
After hearing Gary's wife Sharon Patton call for help, Murray immediately jumped into action, helping to lower Gary to the floor before calling 911, the post stated.
Speaking to NBC affiliate KXAS-TV, Murray said he thought Gary was initially having a seizure.
"His wife checked for a pulse and he didn't have a pulse," he recalled. "So we figured his heart stopped. Next thing we know he's not breathing... In the moment, we didn't know what was going on."
In a statement provided to the restaurant, Sharon noted that several other restaurant goers also stepped in to help during her husband's acute cardiac event.
"To the kind gentleman in the green hoodie and beard, thank you for supporting Gary on the floor and praying with me in the parking lot," she wrote. "To the woman with the pretty purple fingernails, your willingness to cycle CPR for my husband will never be forgotten! You gave me a moment to breathe and center."
"To the young man who performed rescue breaths, in this time of COVID, there is no way to say thank you. (Gary is tested every 10 days and is neg!)" she added.
In reference to the actions of the kind strangers, Downtown Cantina said they "are none other than angels in the right spot at the right time."
"Nick and the others made an extraordinary effort along with Mr. Patton's wife, Sharon, in keeping Mr. Patton alive and well," they noted.
Following the incident, Sharon said her husband was transported to a hospital, where doctors confirmed he had a heart attack and put a stent in his heart.
The news came as somewhat of a relief to Murray, who admitted to KXAS-TV that they weren't sure if Gary would survive in the midst of the ordeal.
"We didn't really understand how he was doing," he explained to the outlet. "We didn't know if he was alive or not, because, from our standpoint, it did not look like it was going to be a good outcome."
Thankfully, though, Gary has since been released and is home recovering, Sharon said. She and Gary are now extending their "immeasurable gratitude to everyone" who helped during the incident.
"My husband and I are both veteran nurses, but to say we were unprepared for such an event is an understatement!" Sharon wrote. "We wish we could thank everyone who aided in any way personally!"
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Five days later, the Pattons were able to do just that — going back to Downtown Cantina to visit and thank Murray, KXAS-TV reported.
"They actually came to see me... lookin' happy and healthy," Murray told the outlet. "It's a really good moment to see someone alive because in the moment, it feels uncomfortable doing what you're doing but then to see, 'Hey, it actually saved a human!' it was rewarding but also humbling."
"Kinda makes you realize that sometimes I feel like we have this thought process of immortality," he added. "Then the next thing you know, some people are out for dinner, and life gets real, real quick."
Sharon and Gary weren't the only ones to praise Murray for his actions.
On Jan. 29, the City of Weatherford posted a photo on Facebook, revealing that Mayor Paul Paschall had spoken to Murray and presented him with a thank you basket.
"Thanks to his quick thinking and the actions of other patrons Mr. Patton is alive and well," the post read. "Nick is just one member that makes Weatherford such a great place to live, work and play!"
Besides the photo, the city wrote: "Thank you for your quick thinking and for saving a fellow member of our community."