Paul Breault may not have known what was happening to him a couple weeks ago when he was preparing to lead a seminar at Salvatore’s Restaurant in downtown Andover.
But now he will never forget the woman being credited with saving his life that afternoon.
The 65-year-old Nashua, N.H., man went into cardiac arrest and collapsed while setting up to give a presentation on Social Security at Salvatore’s on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Luckily, Marcie Martellucci, a veteran of the restaurant industry who has been a manager at Salvatore’s for the past five years, was on duty that afternoon.
Martellucci, who was summoned to the back room of the restaurant by one of the servers, found Breault lying on the floor. He wasn’t breathing and he didn’t have a pulse.
As staff called 911, Martellucci enlisted the help of one of the restaurant’s patrons.
“He came over and we administered CPR until police, fire and ambulance got there,” Martellucci said.
Joe Santaniello, who co-owns an Exeter, N.H.-based financial services firm with Breault, was arriving on the scene just as the incident unfolded.
“When I came, the fire trucks had gone by, an ambulance had gone by. I walked in, and there was my partner on the floor,” Santaniello said. “I said, ‘Oh please, dear Lord, help him.’”
Once emergency response crews arrived, they used an automatic external defibrillator to shock Breault and get him breathing again, Fire Chief Mike Mansfield said.
Breault, who is now recovering from double-bypass surgery, said all he remembers is carrying boxes and the next thing he knew, he was in a hospital bed. Someone had to tell him how Martellucci had come to his aid.
“I don’t even remember her doing it, but I know she did it,” he said. “This woman saved my life.”