Ruth Ann Schoer, a public “thank you” for being you.

With all respect shown for confidentiality, I can’t divulge a “who” or “when” as they relate to the victim of this story, but I want to let you know the “what” and “why” secret that I know. What: Ruth Ann Schoer is awesome. If you already know that, let me contribute one more confirmation — the “why” part of this message: Without fanfare or acknowledgment, Ruth Ann recently saved a life.

“Where?” Ruth Ann was minding her own business at her job at the Salvation Army when she heard a staff member call out, in the hallway, “Something is wrong!” Given the special populations served by the Army, including homeless children, that could mean anything, so Ruth Ann rushed into the hallway to offer assistance. A woman was having a seizure nearby. Staff members got the poor lady off of the chair she was seizing on and onto the floor (exactly the right thing to do). The woman subsequently lost consciousness during the seizure but didn’t hurt herself because she was on the floor and unrestricted. After it was over, she regained her senses and it seemed the crisis was over.

However, with a second and stronger seizure, the situation became more serious. The woman obviously stopped breathing during and after that one. Horrified staff checked to find no response to verbal or physical prompts, and no apparent pulse or respiration. Ruth Ann Schoer immediately announced that she could do CCR and performed a chest compression. Soon the woman responded, gasping for breath. She then fully regained consciousness and was taken by ambulance to an area hospital.

(And you thought you were having a bad or interesting day at work!)

Of all of the women that I know (and I know a great many women), there are many who I especially revere for their work, for their dedication and knowledge and wisdom. There are others I admire for their fearlessness and bravery and advocacy. Still others I admire for their compassion and grace under fire. Some I respect for their wisdom and leadership qualities. I admire Ruth Ann Schoer above all of the rest because she is one of the very few people I know who has all of these qualities. And now I can add “life-saving skills” to the mix.

So here is my very public message for RAS: “Ruth Ann, I know you shy away from public recognition, but hear this: ‘You go, girl!’ You are an inspiration to the many women (and men) who appreciate the gift you are, as well as the gifts you bring to this community.”

[And here’s a present for you, loyal reader. I’m going to make sure Ruth Ann gets a seat at an upcoming “Dinner with Jody & Lisa” event, so if you haven’t already signed up for one, do it today, since we’ve already filled two events and are booking the third! It’s a great chance to meet community stewards and heros, as well as entrepreneurs and interesting others. (See last week’s blog for more details about that.)].

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