Ray’s Ray of Hope – Posse Positive People – The Wegmans Staff, Customer, and Cops Who Saved an Ocean Twp. Man
Pretty common theme for Posse Positive People. Those who jump into the fray to try and thwart a bad situation.
That’s the case of some fast acting staff members of a local Wegmans, a customer and cops who arrived on the scene as one customer collapsed and nearly died from a blood clot near his heart.
Joe Kampf was born again on his birthday.
“I died,” said Kampf, 59, recalling the late afternoon of June 10 when he collapsed in the pharmacy section of Wegmans in Ocean Township while shopping with his wife.
“But I didn’t cross the line. They brought me back and stabilized me.”
“They” are Wegmans staff members, a customer and Ocean Township police officers who came to his aid last week after he had a heart attack. And Kampf credits them as the reason he is alive today.
Joe Kampf himself remembers little of the shopping trip. It was later in the afternoon on a Monday and he was standing next to his wife Wendy at the deli counter of Wegmans. Kampf decided to head to the pharmacy section.
The next thing Kampf remembers is waking up in Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune with a “huge noggin knocker” on his head and a sore side from what he can only suspect was the result of him hitting the floor.
What happened in the pharmacy section Kampf only knows because he was told after by the people who saved his life, including one, Danielle “Dani” Pappas, who he calls “my angel.”
Wegmans employees found Kampf in distress, store manager John Zammetti said.
One immediately called police. Anthony Kelly, a store pharmacist, responded to Kampf.
Pappas, the store’s safety and simplification coordinator, was in a meeting with other store managers, who responded to the pharmacy, Zammetti said. But Pappas, also a volunteer emergency medical technician, ran ahead to help Kelly with CPR along with Mark Goldberg, a customer shopping that day who is also an EMT.
Wegmans is equipped with portal defibrillators located throughout the store, and the managers are all trained to use them, Zammetti said. But Ocean Township Police officers Randy Slawsky and Greg Martone as well as sergeants Paul Flammia and Greg Schenck had already responded with their portable defibrillator, which they used on Kampf.
“The police were there instantly,” Zammetti said.
Ocean Township Police Chief Steven Peters credited not only his officers, but the store’s staff and Goldberg for the quick response.
Kampf was taken to Jersey Shore, where he said doctors found a clot in an artery, which they cleared, and placed a stent.
As soon as he was strong enough, about a week after his collapse, Kampf and his wife went back to Wegmans to seek out Pappas and Kelly.
If reviving him after heart failure wasn’t enough, Zammetti, the store manager, sent dinner to the Kampfs the day after the store visit. Kampf said he and his wife were greeted at their door with lobster, crab legs, corn on the cob, potatoes, salad, a bouquet of flowers and a fruit basket.
Zammetti said he was just grateful to the Kampfs for coming back to the store to meet with his staff, who he said was “emotionally shaken” by the incident.
Ironically on a day that was his 59th birthday.
But one in which he feels was the first day in the rest of his life.
That’s why the Ray’s Ray of Hope – Posse Positive People nod goes to the customer, staff of the Ocean Township Wegmans and the police in saving the life of Joe Kamph.