Golden Pantry C-Store Manager Saves Man's Life

WINTERVILLE, Ga. -- Golden Pantry store manager Penny Guitar is used to helping customers who come into her Winterville location get a tank of gas, a bite to eat or directions. Recently, she added CPR to her list of services provided, The Augusta Chronicle reported.

The manager was stocking the store's cooler Jan. 26 when one of her co-workers rushed in to tell her that a man in the parking lot needed medical help. Winterville resident Janet Casper had been driving her husband, Benny, to the doctor when he suddenly stopped breathing.

Guitar, a lifelong Girl Scout and former troop leader with 15 first aid and CPR classes under her belt, hurried outside and began chest compressions. She revived Benny Casper three times before paramedics arrived to take him to Athens Regional Medical Center.

"Knowing what to do, you stay calm," Guitar told the newspaper. "After everything is done and everyone's gone, that's when you go sit in the office and just fall apart."

Janet Casper said without Guitar's help, her husband would have been dead. "She saved his life," said Casper, who coincidentally worked for 12 years as the manager of the Golden Pantry store on Lexington Road in Athens, Ga. Casper called the convenience store's corporate offices to let them know that Guitar helped save her husband's life.

Doctors believe a bad infection in Casper's intestines and a high fever led to heart failure. He was released after five days in the hospital, only to return less than 48 hours later with more breathing troubles. After a 10-day stint in the hospital, he is at home recovering, the report stated.

Though Benny Casper doesn't remember much about the ordeal, he teased his wife while he was recovering in the hospital. "He said to me, 'You mean to tell me I had a little red-headed woman on me and I don't remember it?' It was funny later, but it was scary at the time."

As for the recognition, Guitar said she was in the right place at the right time.

"I'm just glad he's OK," she said.


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