Publix employees thanked by shopper they shocked back to life

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There are heroes all around, but one local man found his at a St. Petersburg Publix store.

On Wednesday, Bob Gutierrez got to thank Melinda Yow, Whitney Shim, and LaShonda Brown - the Publix employees who saved his life.

Back in March, Gutierrez had a heart attack and collapsed while shopping.

"I stood up and I said, 'Oh, I'm still feeling dizzy.' The last thing I remember was that. Then I fell down, and I woke up in the ER," said Gutierrez.

Shim, Yow, and Brown quickly sprang into action when they saw Gutierrez on the floor. They performed CPR and used a defibrillator to shock the man back to life.

"I just did what I needed to do, because the most important thing was making sure that this customer was okay," said Shim.

By the time paramedics arrived, Gutierrez was breathing and had a heartbeat. He was then transported to the hospital in critical but stable condition.

"If it were not for the quick action of the Publix employees, Mr. Gutierrez would not be alive today," said Cpt. Eric Dinan with the St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.


The St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, along with Gutierrez and his wife, gathered on Wednesday to honor and recognize the compassion and quick thinking of the three Publix employees.

The women were presented with plaques acknowledging their heroic actions.

However, Brown, Yow, and Shim said that seeing Gutierrez alive and smiling was reward enough for them. 


"Mr. Bob came into the store and it was a relief of my heart. I was so happy and grateful he was alive that day," said Brown.

Thanks to the quick thinking of his local grocers, Gutierrez recently celebrated his 68th birthday.


"I think on a daily basis, I kick myself and say 'I'm really lucky,'" said Gutierrez.


 He said he now feels happier and healthier than ever.