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'I went into action': CPR saves man's life at Paris restaurant

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Posted at 6:02 PM, Jan 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-19 18:21:22-05

PARIS, Ky. (LEX 18) — Still serving homestyle cooking 61 years after its opening, it seems Jerry’s Restaurant never changes.

That was until recently when the Paris staple experienced a first time, and hopefully a last time, event.

“We're just sitting there eating and nothing's going on, he didn't seem like he was having any problems, then all the sudden he started turning blue and fell over,” recalled Jennifer Leggett.

Jennifer watched as her husband Elgin collapsed on the floor, choking. Not long after, his heart stopped.

“No pulse, no heartbeat, time just drags,” said Jerry’s manager Barry Sargent.

Sitting in the corner booth just happened to be Bob Boden, a surgeon’s assistant who, on that day, had a hankering for home cooking, placing him just booths away from Elgin.

“I went into action,” said Boden. “Got him on his back, tried to get some breath in him.

As he performed CPR, a restaurant employee called 911, another aided in the CPR, and police officer Eric Fite rushed to Elgin’s side. Each second proved critical as paramedics made their way to Jerry’s.

“The doctors said that time was of the essence, and that his coming out of this would depend on how well the CPR was done and how quickly it was done,” said Jennifer.

Every party involved, from the surgeon’s assistant to the restaurant manager, chalks it up to timing. For the Leggetts, that timing is nothing short of a miracle.

“When the man upstairs has control, the timing will work out perfectly,” said Elgin.

Since saving Elgin’s life, Boden hopes to see Jerry’s and other restaurants in town purchase AEDs to help in situations like Elgin’s.