A Phoenix 5 & Diner waitress and her boss expressed their gratitude to local police officers recently for their vigilance and quick thinking that helped saved the waitress’ life.
According to Ryan Ladden, the district manager of all 5 & Diner locations in the Valley, Phoenix police officers entered the diner between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. to get some breakfast, and immediately noticed something was not right with the waitress. They instinctively called an EMT for her — and good thing they did because she ended up having to be transported and treated at a hospital for a life-threatening cardiac condition.
“The officers came in, as usual, for their break. My employee greeted them and sat them. They noticed something off about her and recognized that it might be medical,” Ladden said. “She is very stubborn, and (I think since they know her) they called medical to check her out just to be safe. EMT showed up and determined she needed to be transported. It turns out she had fluid around her heart, and doctors told her that if it wasn’t taken care of in 24 hours, she might have died.”
Ladden said the officers are very familiar with the restaurant’s morning staff after routinely visiting the diner for breakfast over the last 10 to 30 years. Ladden said he was grateful to the officers for taking care of his employee, so he wrote a personal letter to the officers to show his appreciation.
“We never thought it would be possible that ordering coffee or a chicken fried steak would actually save somebody’s life,” said Officer Tony, who goes to the diner regularly and has made friends with many of the waitresses, including the woman he saved.
“She was totally different than what we normally deal with,” Tony recalled. “You just could see the way she was walking around, and it was just totally off. At one point, we saw her actually sit down and started complaining about some pain in her back.”
The waitress has fully recovered from her illness and has returned to work. She explained to AZ Family that she was initially reluctant to have Tony call the paramedics.
“I’m stubborn,” the waitress said. “I wouldn’t have called. I would have went home and went to bed, tried to sleep it off, but then I found out that wasn’t a good idea.”
“As they were loading her up, she actually turned to us and said, ‘I will deal with you two next week,’” Tony said.
The waitress said that when she had a chance to thank the officer, it was a bittersweet moment. “I gave him a hug, but I wanted to kill him,” the waitress said humorously.
“To find out that we possibly saved her life was kind of cool,” Tony added.