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Nurse Saves Man In Cardiac Arrest On Her Day Off At The Movies

LYNBROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – DeShawn Mason doesn't mind a follow up doctor's appointment at South Nassau Communities Hospital, after all, the staff here saved his life.

"I am totally in debt to everyone," Mason said.

It was a group effort to keep the Far Rockaway grandfather alive, but he says his true hero is registered nurse Shyvonne Allen.

She was off-duty on Easter morning and decided to take her son to a movie at the Lynbrook Regal Multi-Plex.

"I was supposed to go to church that morning with my son, and decided not to… feeling a little guilty that I didn't," Allen said.

What came next is nothing to feel guilty about.

Mason was in the back of the same theater with his seven-year-old grandson when he suddenly went into cardiac arrest. Most in the theater thought he fell asleep and was snoring, but not nurse Allen.

"After I started listening a little more, I noticed it wasn't just snoring, it sounded like something we called 'agonal breathing,'" Allen said.

She rushed to his side to check his pulse and when she realized what was going on, she administered CPR, but had to get creative.

"The movies have the chairs that recline, I pushed it down and someone helped pull him down to the bottom so at least he was lying flat and I started doing CPR on him."

Eventually, others came to help and they placed him on the floor. Police came to shock his heart three times with a defibrillator. Then EMS rushed him to the hospital and doctors say he was lucky.

"The brain starts to not do well within in five to seven minutes of not having oxygen, circulation, so good CPR prolongs it," Dr. Lawrence Kanner said.

"It wasn't just a coincidence that everyone was align that particular day, it was by divine intervention that everyone was in place," Mason told CBS2.

Deshawn Mason was diagnosed with ventricular fibrillation, which happens when the heart quivers and does not beat.

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