‘Divine providence was involved’: Off-duty police officer helps save man’s life
An off-duty Henrico police officer was in the right place at the right time when he jumped into action to help save a man’s life!
Lisa Gravitt said her father, John Luck, Jr., 79, of Hanover, collapsed in the parking lot of Cook Out in Short Pump Nov. 26.
"All I could hear was my mom crying and screaming in the background," she said.
What Gravitt didn't know was Officer Jonathan Turner had just pulled into the parking lot.
"My wife was the one that pointed out there was someone laying in the parking lot with people around him,” Turner said.
Turner was off-duty at the time, kicking off Thanksgiving break from his job as a school resource officer at Elko Middle School. His family had traveled to a trampoline park and eventually the Cook Out where Luck collapsed.
Turner said he immediately ran over to the group, finding the 79-year-old unresponsive, not breathing and without a pulse. So, he started CPR.
“It only takes four to five minutes for brain damage to start,” Turner said. “So being able to start CPR early is key in making sure somebody can survive.”
First responders arrived a few minutes later, taking over and managing to get Luck’s pulse back as they headed to the hospital. However, the story doesn’t end there.
“[My mom] said well, there was this man, and he gave him CPR,” Gravitt said. “I said, well do you know who he was? She said I don’t know, I think he was a policeman, but I’m not sure.”
Gravitt said her mother was in the parking lot when her high school sweetheart collapsed.
“He has stage 4 COPD and AFib, which is a heart condition,” Gravitt said. “The doctors think his heart rate just dropped to zero basically and he just went out.”
After hearing about this unknown off-duty officer, Gravitt posted to Facebook trying to find him, and sure enough in 8-10 hours she was successful.
“I had a message on Facebook that Officer Turner had sent me and said he was the one who had been there that evening with dad,” Gravitt said. “I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited.”
Gravitt said she messaged back and forth with Turner thanking him for his quick action.
"It was a lot of talking back and forth realizing how much divine providence was involved in this situation,” Turner said. “From making our three-year-old go out, even though he didn’t want to, to leaving the park a few minutes and pulling into the parking lot what I think was mere seconds after he had his medical incident.”
“He and I have been talking about how things happened that evening and God definitely placed him at the right place at the right time that night for my parents,” Gravitt wrote on Facebook. “We are SO grateful for him and his selfless act of kindness. May God bless him and his family as he continues to serve our community.”
Turner said the family also called him a hero – something he doesn’t view himself as.
“I'm just doing what any other officer or firefighter would have done in that same situation," he said.
Luck spent three days in the intensive care unit at Henrico Doctors Hospital before he was discharged Friday.
The family said not being able to spend Thanksgiving with him was difficult, but they celebrated Sunday night.
"He's my mom's rock, he's my rock, he's my son's rock - he's the main man in our world and we all look to him for strength," Gravitt said.
As Luck recovers at home Gravitt said her father is looking forward to meeting the man, who as luck would have it, was at the right place at the right time.
“He’s just so excited,” Gravitt said. “All he can talk about right now is getting his strength up and being able to meet him and shake his hand.”
Henrico Police also took to social media thanking the family for reaching out with a positive update.
As a result of this emergency, the family and Turner encourage people to take a CPR course in order to help save other people’s lives in the future.