MODESTO (CBS13) — A casual Thursday morning trip to Home Depot for Cristian Ewell and her husband Leonid Kasperovich took a near-deadly turn in a heartbeat last week.
“We were looking at 4-by-4’s when all of sudden he put up his hands to rest. But instead of resting, he fell face-first into the lumber and began to hyperventilate,” Ewell said.
Ewell didn’t know it then, but her husband was suffering a heart attack.
“At first, it was a sense of, ‘Oh my gosh. He’s going. I’m losing him,’ and I was holding his head in my hands watching him go,” Ewell said. “He saved my husband’s life.”
That man was off-duty CHP-Modesto officer Matthew Denton, who jumped into action.
“She said he’s not breathing, he’s not breathing. At that point, I notice that he begins to turn blue,” Denton said.
After he turned Kasperovich on his side to clear his lungs off blood, Denton said he began doing CPR on Kasperovich while instructing Ewell how and when to do mouth-to-mouth.
Kasperovich was saved and taken to the hospital by paramedics shortly after. The family is forever for Denton’s actions.
“It wasn’t about being a police officer. It was about being a human being. And I knew if I didn’t act and I didn’t use the skills that I knew how to do, that I was trained to do, this guy would most likely lose his life,” Denton said.
“We’d be at a morgue. We’d be at a funeral parlor right now if it weren’t for Officer Denton,” Ewell said.
It’s almost like it was meant to be for this officer to be there to help others in need off the clock.
“For me, it was kind of a God moment; right time, right place,” Denton said.
Cristina and her family were able to connect with officer Denton after saving her husband’s life. She told CBS13 there was no resisting it during the pandemic, she had to give the hero officer a hug — while wearing a mask, she pointed out — for saving for her husband.
CHP Modesto is reminding everyone of the importance of CPR training and how it can save lives. The department told CBS13 there are active courses being offered in the Modesto area.