Santa Maria - North County

Orcutt ice cream manager being heralded as a hero

Manager's quick actions helped save mother's life

Orcutt ice cream manager being...

ORCUTT, Calif. - An Orcutt ice cream manager is being called a local hero. 

Earlier this month, Orcutt mother Linda Lujan and her children walked over to the Doc Burnstein's ice cream shop to celebrate an award one of her daughters won at school. Her award was a free ice cream from the ice cream shop. 

Little did Lujan know how this visit to an ice cream shop would impact her and her children's lives. 

Lujan suffers from seizures. She describes that Wednesday as a good day because she had minimal seizure activity - so she decided to walk rather than use her wheelchair. 

As they were exiting the ice cream shop, she took three steps outside and began to have a bad seizure. She thinks it could've been the lights from a fire truck that triggered it. 

As she fell to the ground, her 11-year-old son Chase, ran back inside to Doc Burnstein's to ask for help. 

That's when the manager on duty, Kelli Reed, quickly called 9-1-1. That manager didn't know that Lujan had vomited and was choking--she couldn't breathe. 

"You know she just made a phone call, to her.. but to me it was my life, it was my kid's lives and I can't thank her enough," Lujan said.  

"I saw that she was shaking, it was pretty violently," Reed said. 

Lujan says during her medical episode, she was able to hear some of what was going on around her and could hear that her kids were scared and in tears. She describes that as a helpless feeling, knowing there was nothing she could do for them. 

But before she lost consciousness, she heard the manager begin to calm her kids down. She could hear the manager starting to talk to them about school and what they'd done at school that day, trying to get their minds off of what was happening.      

Lujan says at the time, she couldn't tell her thank you or how moved and grateful she was for all the manager was doing. 

When Lujan woke up she was in a hospital bed with a tube down her throat and wires and tubes everywhere - with injuries to her head. 

Once the tube was removed she was able to start asking questions like what happened, where her kids were, where she was and what day it was. She learned about what happened and how that manager's quick actions might've saved her life. 

"I just think God allowed me to be here at the right place and the right time," Reed said. "If something was going to happen, I'm just glad that I was there to help her."

"You know she just made a phone call, to her.. but to me it was my life, it was my kid's lives and I can't thank her enough," Lujan said.

Lujan says the manager didn't wake up that morning knowing she would change someone's life. She says that manager never started her shift thinking that she would save someone's life, but that's what she did. 

Lujan says many people chose not to get involved and stay out of it when she was having her seizure, but this manager made the choice to act. 

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