Yesterday [EDIT: actually, September 2, 2011], I was waiting on an elderly man at the counter in Marion. Normal transaction; regular customer. He was purchasing a money order and a stamp. He walked in from the excruciating heat and humidity we’ve been experiencing, and weakly approached me hobbling with his cane. I could immediately tell he wasn’t feeling very well, and asked him if he was OK. “Yes, just the heat.” We proceeded with the transaction, and when it came time to pay, he pulled out his wallet and tried to take out the $290 some-odd dollars to hand to me. He had significant difficulty. He seemed confused, as if he couldn’t figure how much he had taken out of his wallet and how much more he needed. I waited patiently. Finally I asked him, “Are you sure that you are OK?” He replied, “Yes. I’m fine.” Still, he couldn’t take out all the money. I said, “Here, let me help you,” and took hold of his wallet. He seemed like he wanted to let go, but he couldn’t. I gently pulled out his money, counted it out in front of him, and handed the rest back. He tried to put it back in his wallet, but he just crumpled it up and stuffed it in. It was hanging all out, so I took it back, arranged it neatly in his wallet and again handed it back. It was quite apparent that something was askew; I asked him if he’d like to come in the back and sit down and I’d get him a cool glass of water. Again he insisted he was fine and that his friend out in the car would take care of him. About the time I handed him his purchase and change, his cane fell to the floor and he clung to the counter top. I said, “Stay right there. I am going to come around and help you to your car.” I scooted out to the lobby, and just as I reached him, he began to fall. I was able to stop him enough so that he gently leaned on the wall and slowly slumped to the floor without getting hurt. I shouted to another clerk to call 911 and asked a customer to go outside and find his friend. His face went blank and he started to breathe heavily and foam up at his mouth, drooling. Then he began moaning and his body stiffened and his eyes rolled back in his head. He was profusely sweating. I was pretty sure he was having a seizure, maybe a stroke. I unbuttoned his shirt, kept speaking to him softly and rubbing his shoulders just so he knew I was there. This went on for 2 or 3 minutes. Then, it all stopped and I thought for a few seconds that he was dying right there in front of me. Another clerk had come out there with me and was checking his pulse. It was very faint, but there. Then, his eyes opened and with great relief the EMTs arrived and took him away, but not before the gentleman pointed at me and said, “Thank you for helping me”. I gave the money order to the man’s friend. I am certain the man was unaware of what was going on during those few minutes before he opened his eyes, yet he knew I had helped him. I had to hold back the tears and it took several hours for me to fully calm down. Heard later from the hospital that they were running tests, but thought it was a stroke and that he was doing well. Thank God!

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