(CNN) – Marcus Guajardo, a critical care nurse at Community Hospital South, says he’ll never forget a recent shopping trip to the Greenwood Meijer store. While standing in the checkout line, he noticed Meijer employees rushing to help another shopper who had collapsed in cardiac arrest. Marcus Guajardo, critical care nurse said, “When I looked over there, I saw a gentleman, I just saw his legs.” Leaving his groceries at the checkout, Marcus rushed to the man’s side.
Marcus: “He had already turned a shade of blue. I could tell he wasn’t breathing.”
Reporter: Training kicked in, and Marcus started chest compressions.
Marcus: “After a few minutes of doing compressions, he started getting some color back and he was occasionally taking a breath.”
Reporter: Marcus brought the man back from the brink in time for paramedics to arrive and take him to the hospital. Then, Marcus remembered his groceries, still at the checkout.
Marcus: “One of the managers came up with all of my groceries bagged and they told me that had, they thanked me profusely for what I had done. They paid for all of my groceries and they also gave me a 25 dollar gift card.”
Reporter: Marcus says he tried to refuse the gift at first, but then accepted the kind gesture. Then two days later, he went back to work at the hospital, and learned that the man he helped save was not only recovering, but he was staying on his floor giving them a chance to reconnect.
Marcus: “Right away, he kind of got teary eyed and he said are you the one? And I said yeah, I was there helping out at Meijer and he wanted to get up and I said please don’t get up and I shook his hand. His wife stood up from the bench and she got real emotional and she gave me a very long hug. They were very gracious and very thankful.”
Guajardo says he was ready to leave the store earlier, but his wife called him and said ‘hey, don’t forget we need diapers.’ If she hadn’t made that call, he would have left, and wouldn’t have been at the store with the man needed his help.