FAIR LAWN, NJ - As the saying goes, when it's your time, it's your time. One lucky Fair Lawn resident is probably now thinking it was not her time to go when she stopped breathing and a nurse was nearby.
Fair Lawn's mayor and Borough Council honored that nurse, Melissa Ruffilo, who was "at the right place, at the right time," according to Fair Lawn Councilman Josh Reinitz.
The governing body applauded Ruffilo on Sept. 24 along with other first responders that assisted in the save. TAPinto learned the details of the story several days later.
"I was only at the summer concert [in Fair Lawn] because of my son, Dexter," said Ruffilo, a nurse at Valley Hospital, as well as a substitute nurse in the Fair Lawn schools.
Her son wanted to see the concert because it was sponsored by the Sunrise Rotary of Fair Lawn, she said. It's a group in which they participate.
"Shortly after we arrived, I heard someone call 911, and I immediately ran towards the action," she said. "I saw that Betty was not breathing, she was blue, so we brought her to the ground and once we determined she also had no pulse, I began CPR."
Ruffilo said she performed CPR until Fair Lawn police officer Anthony Ferreira arrived with an AED, an automated external defibrillator which assists authorized users in assessing and treating heart issues.
"We shocked her three times, and she survived!" Ruffilo said.
Ruffilo worked in the emergency room for most of her nursing career, giving her the necessary skills to rescue someone in distress. Currently, she's working in same day surgery.
Deputy Mayor of Community Affairs noted at the meeting Ruffilo "sprung into action" to help save a fellow resident.
"I am just so happy that she survived," Ruffilo said.