As a cardiac nurse at Akron Children’s Hospital, Lynn Urbanic, RN, knows the value of being in the right place at the right time.
Every day on her way home from work, Lynn received a friendly smile and a wave from Ed Galloway, a former attendant in the Exchange Parking Deck.
At the time, she didn’t even know his name, but the two maintained a running joke that he served as her “get out of jail free card,” whenever she forgot her ID badge and needed to exit the deck.
One afternoon last September, as Lynn walked to the parking deck at the end of her shift, she passed Ed, as he sat in the hallway of the Kay Jewelers Pavilion.
“That day I had gone to the cafeteria to get something to eat, and I had to stop three times on the way back because I couldn’t walk any further,” said Ed. “I was huffing, puffing and sweating. I knew something was wrong.”
Lynn waved to Ed on her way out the door, but when he didn’t reciprocate, she paused.
“Something about that just didn’t feel right,” she said. “So, I turned back and asked, ‘Are you ok?’ I could tell he was short of breath. I grabbed his arm to check his pulse. He was really cold, clammy and diaphoretic. I could tell something was not right. It was a textbook heart issue.”
After a bit of persuading, Lynn drove Ed to the emergency room at Akron General Hospital, where he was triaged and diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a serious but not life-threatening heart condition.
As they sat together in the waiting room, they swapped stories and pulled up photos of their families. A budding friendship formed immediately. After several hours, Lynn left the hospital and drove to Ed’s house to pick up his wife.
“Lynn went above and beyond the call of duty,” he said. “But that’s just the type of person she is. I could see that just by talking to her. I told her she was my guardian angel that day.”
Lynn said at that moment, it’s clear she was exactly where she needed to be.
“I didn’t even know his name when this all started. It just happened that I was a cardiac nurse walking by him, while he was having a cardiac event,” she said. “But we really bonded. Every time I saw him after that, he would hold my hand and tell me I was such a savior that day. He was so sweet, kind and appreciative.”
Ed said he remains in good health, and Lynn continues to stay in touch.
“I feel so lucky,” he said. “You know, out of the clear blue a cardiac surgical nurse walked by. I tell my wife all the time, if [Lynn] hadn’t of been there, I don’t know if I’d be here right now.”