San Diego

Chick-Fil-A Employee Revives Collapsed Man Outside of Eastlake Eatery

Tauya Nenguke said it was fate that he was working the drive-through line at an Eastlake Chick-fil-A when a man collapsed in the parking lot last week. 

"He was out cold. There was no response, eyes were rolled back. It was pretty scary to watch," Nenguke said. 

But Nenguke didn't sit back and watch. Surveillance video from outside the store on Olympic Parkway captured the 22-year-old college student sprinting across the parking lot to where the man was surrounded by friends in a panic. 

"I didn’t hear any breathing. I didn’t feel any pulse on him at all. And I was like, OK, I need to start compressions immediately," he said. 

The man's friends called 911 while Nenguke continued to pump the man's chest. Meanwhile, he was reassuring them their friend would be alright. 

"His friends looked more in shock, they didn’t look like they knew what to do," Nenguke said. 

After about a minute, Nenguke heard some light breathing and stuttered coughs coming from the man, a sign that the CPR was working. 

It was all a blur for the Chick-fil-A associate, but he said it couldn't have taken more than three or four minutes before paramedics arrived and took over. 

It was unclear exactly what type of medical emergency the man suffered but paramedics said if it weren't for Nenguke's immediate response, he likely wouldn't have made it. 

The man was rushed to the hospital and Nenguke went back to the drive-through line ready to greet customers and only slightly shaken. 

"I said, 'I got to get back, there was a line forming,' and I just jumped back in," he explained. 

In the days following the rescue, Nenguke's Chick-fil-A colleagues recognized his heroic actions with a surprise thank you celebration at the restaurant. 

Nenguke is currently enrolled in Southwestern College and is applying to their nursing assisting course. During the school year, he works the evening shift at Chick-fil-A so he can attend school in the daytime. 

The entire ordeal only re-affirmed his dream to be a nurse practitioner. 

"This was kind of like a wake-up call for my calling to be in health care because when that moment arised I didn’t hesitate at all," he said. 

He said that while he felt prepared to jump into action, anyone can -- and should -- learn CPR. 

“I feel like it’s a skill that everyone should have because you never know,” he said. “If you’re the only person there and you have that skill, its going to help out immensely."

Contact Us