ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — While some may find jury duty a necessary evil, a Colorado woman is grateful that she was called to serve. It most likely saved her life.
Shirley Bennet, 69, suffered a stroke while awaiting jury selection at the Arapahoe County courthouse last month, KMGH-TV reported.
Bennet told KUSA-TV that she remembered leaving the courtroom at about 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 while it was in recess, but not much else. She was sitting on a bench in a hallway when she suffered the stroke, according to the television station.
Shirley Bennet said she has lots of living to do as she thanked the first responders who saved her life after she collapsed at the Arapahoe County Courthouse in February. https://t.co/AFq1h1GCjj— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) March 10, 2023
Arapahoe County Sgt. Robert Chase was the first person to reach her and began CPR, KMGH reported. Bennet initially did not have a pulse, but first responders who joined Chase used a bag valve on Bennet to help her breathe.
After several cycles of compressions, the deputies were able to find a faint pulse, according to the television station.
After members of the South Metro Fire Rescue arrived at the scene, they took over compressions and gave Bennet an IV, KMGH reported. After inserting a breathing tube, she began to recover.
“That’s what we’re trained to do, is keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going,” Chase told KUSA. “And it’s a good thing that we did, ‘cause here’s Shirley.”
Bennet, who has suffered three heart attacks, was released from an area hospital in early March, according to KMGH.
She returned to the Arapahoe County Courthouse this week and joked that she was returning “to the scene of the crime,” KUSA reported.
She was greeted by the paramedics and deputies that came to her side during her stroke. She addressed the first responders, pretending to hold a microphone and speaking like a television reporter covering the event, according to the television station.
“You’re looking at a woman who should be dead, but not so,” Bennet said. “She’s alive and well and going on with living her life and doing the things she needs to do. Thank you for tuning into our news, now we’re gonna go to cars are stuck on I-70 in the snowstorm.”
Nineteen deputies were involved in saving Bennet’s life, according to KMGH.
“You guys do this every day, many times a day, for years and years and years,” Bennet told the group. “And I probably know there are times that you’ve saved lives, you helped people, and not a single person said thank you. And I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.”