Family searching for off-duty nurse who helped save Fall River woman in cardiac arrest

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) – The family of a Fall River woman who went into cardiac arrest in her driveway earlier this month is looking to find the off-duty nurse who stopped and helped to say thank you.

It was a typical Thursday night on September 3rd when Marcia Kuriothowski and her daughter Carol had just finished dinner at their Fall River home.

Carol took out the trash but never made it back inside. Her mother, Marcia, went to see what was taking so long when she noticed her neighbors were waving her over to the driveway.

“(When) I got over there, my daughter was on the ground. I did not see it happen. She fell into a big bush,” Kuriothowski said.

The 49-year-old had gone into cardiac arrest.

“A car stopped and I looked, and she says, ‘I’m a nurse, I can help.’ She says first we have to call 911, she dialed 911, she grabbed the stethoscope. She was in scrubs,” Kuriothowski recounted. “She ran over to where my daughter was and started to check her.”

That nurse, that Kuriothowski describes as a young woman with dark hair, performed life-saving CPR on Carol until police arrived. Then, they jumpstarted her heart with an external defibrillator.

“When they put (Carol) into the rescue, I was not even thinking to ask her name or get a phone number. I just said thank you very much.”

Carol spent the next two weeks at St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River where she is still getting treated. She was in the ICU on breathing tubes, but has since been moved out of the ICU and is getting stronger each day.

“It was touch and go for quite a while. She was on a breathing machine, she had all of the whistles and bells, she had tubes coming out of her everywhere. They still don’t know to this day really what happened.”

She’s since undergone surgery where doctors put in a pacemaker. They hope to discharge her in a few days.

Kuriothowski said the doctors believe she’s recovered so well because of her age and also because of the quick-thinking of that nurse who was driving by at the right time.

“They were saying she was very lucky and her age probably, you know, played a big factor, but the biggest factor was the Nightingale nurse that helped us. My daughter’s alive because of your good heart.”

© WLNE-TV 2020

Categories: Fall River, Massachusetts, News