BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - If someone, a stranger perhaps, clutched their chest and fell to the ground, would you know what to do? Would you have the right mindset to do it?
That's exactly what happened one Sunday morning in February 2017 during morning worship at Glen Oaks Baptist Church in Baton Rouge.
"I was sitting in the seats where the deacons and the pastors sit," said Pastor George Guillory. "A bible fell on the floor from Brother Clarence Chapman. I waited for him to pick it up. He didn't. I was going to pick it up and when I looked over, he was slumped over the seat. His eyes were glazed and he wasn't breathing."
Unknown to Deacon Clarence Chapman until that very day, he had a serious heart condition that caused his heart to stop beating. He was dying right there at church.
"The men of the church came and picked him up and laid him here on the altar. And one of our youth, Myishia Gibson, was watching from the back of the church. She came up and immediately started CPR. She kept it going, kept blood flowing and air moving until EMS came," Guillory added.
Gibson had taken the first responders course at her school, Scotlandville Magnet High School, and was certified in CPR, first-aid and AED. She did not hesitate performing CPR on Chapman and did it so well that some say her actions saved his life.
Chapman has since had surgery and is doing fine. And he says he owes it all to the quick actions of Gibson.
"Every day I wake up and I just thank God for allowing me another chance." Chapman said humbly. "Because the understanding that I have is that they had to shock me four times. And a lot of times when you have to get shocked the fourth time, it's not good."
"But mostly, I thank Myishia for giving me CPR 'til the paramedics got here to do their job." he added.
But Gibson is so humble and passive about the entire event and doesn't quite realize the magnitude of what she did.
"No, it never registered in my head until the EMS came," Gibson quietly explained. "Once EMS took over, it was like, 'You know, I really helped save his life.' I was like, 'Wow, this really happened. That's crazy.'"
Back at school, Gibson's first responder teacher, Coach Robert Bennett, had Gibson speak to his current first responder class about her experience. But unknown to Gibson, Bennett had invited her mother and Guillory that day for a special presentation and surprise.
"You don't think it was a big deal, but we know it was a big deal. And we want to show you appreciation by giving you $300 from Hand It On," Bennett said.
He gave a very embarrassed Gibson three crisp, new one-hundred dollar bills.
"Wow. Thank y'all so much. I didn't see this coming!" Gibson said.
She has always wanted to be a first responder and become a paramedic. And she said the experience with Chapman at her church has given her the assurance that becoming a first responder is exactly what she is supposed to do after high school.
To nominate someone for WAFB's Hand It On recognition, send an email to HandItOn@wafb.com. Make sure to include your contact information, especially your phone number.