LAKE WYLIE — There are heroes at Lake Wylie’s Lowe’s Home Improvement store at Mill Creek Commons.
Last week, the corporate office recognized full-time employee Ben Crawford of Belmontand part-timer Kelvin Nelson of Charlotte with certificates of appreciation for helping to save a Clover man’s life. The Hero Among Us certificates, store manager Jeff Ledford said, is special and “extremely out of the ordinary.”
On March 31, Ron Hansen of Clover dropped his 83-year-old father off at the store entrance before parking the car.
Alfred suffered a heart attack after passing through the first set of doors.
“His heart stopped,” Hansen said about his father,
But within seconds, Lowe’s employees were administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
“That was an unexpected day,” Hansen said.
But for Crawford and Nelson, it was just another day in years spent rescuing others. Both men are firefighters.
Crawford, 24, has been a volunteer firefighter for eight years, serving six with New Hope and two with South Point departments. Nelson has served 23 years as a full-time firefighter with the Charlotte Fire Department.
“I’ve done CPR many times, delivered babies, been at major wrecks and fires,” Nelson said, “being able to save someone is fulfilling.”
He says “everyone should take a basic CPR course, because you never know when you’ll need it.”
Crawford said this was the first time “I got anybody back. We were lucky we could get to him quickly.”
Both men also said they felt lucky they were both there and both well trained.
“It definitely made it easier,” Nelson said. “Everything was clicking.”
“We both just knew what to do,” Crawford said.
Following the certificate presentation surrounded by other employees, Hansen shared photos of his father’s recovery with his rescuers. Seeing him with his grandchildren, that was what they were happiest to see, they both said.
“As firefighters, we wait for someone to need you, we just didn’t expect it to happen here,” Crawford said. “To get someone to come back and tell you they made it, it’s unbelievable.”
Ledford said the store always has someone certified in CPR, for which the Hansens are grateful.
“Thanks a lot guys,” Hansen said. While his father is making a full recovery due to other health issues he was unable to come to the Thursday celebration. “But he’d like to be here.”
The Lowe’s employees were also humbled by the company recognition.
“It’s not something we’re trying to be rewarded for, but it’s very nice to hear from corporate and be recognized,” Nelson said.
Catherine Muccigrosso • 803-831-8166