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Woman honoured for lifesaving actions

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

An Oshawa woman is being recognized for her efforts after saving a man’s life in a Walmart washroom.

Kristina Gordon works in asset protection at the Walmart on Laval Drive, and is also an occupational therapy assistant at Nova Ark’s Charity. On the day of the incident, she says she heard a “code white” over the PA system. A code white is when there is an accident in the store.

Being in asset protection, she needs to be there when such a situation arises.

“A customer had told one of our employees that there was somebody who was sleeping or unconscious in the men’s washroom,” explains Gordon. “So I went in and quickly realized that the man had no vital signs by checking his pulse.”

Gordon and a store manager quickly jumped to action. The manager called 911 while Gordon turned him over and checked again for a pulse.

“I immediately began doing compressions [when I realized he didn’t have a pulse], I believe for eight and half minutes until police and paramedics arrived, and the man had vital signs when the paramedics had him up on a stretcher and took him out to get other medical attention.”

When she found him in the washroom, Gordon says she knew what she had to do.

“What went through my mind immediately is this man needs help, and I’m going to do anything I can,” she says. “I checked the environment first to make sure everything was safe for myself, and then to make sure that he was okay.”

She’s quick to credit those who helped, noting everyone from paramedics to her coworkers were very quick to attend to the man’s needs.

“Everyone was there, everyone called the paramedics quickly, helped clear the area of customers… and then after the fact everyone acted really incredible just telling me what a good job I did in my quick thinking to help save his life,” she says.

For her efforts, Gordon received a Shining Star Award from Walmart, which is given to those who have gone above and beyond their duties at work.

Gordon was originally nominated at the store level for the month, but then became Shining Star for the Year at her store, and for all of Durham Region, finally earning   provincial recognition. But she wasn’t done there.

“I went to a year beginning meeting in Mississauga in February… and seven of us were nominated for the Shining Star of the Year… and I ended up winning it which was really exciting,” says Gordon.

Gordon says she was in complete shock when she received the award, adding it made her efforts feel even more appreciated.

“I would hope anybody would have done what I did in that circumstance to just be able to give back to others, and help others in need when needed,” she says.