Family, friends and strangers witness a ‘miracle’ Everybody has a story

From left, Don Peebles and his wife, Kathy, are eternally grateful for the actions of Mark Tures, who gave Peebles CPR during a cardiac episode in December.

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

KILMARNOCK—There was something more than luck at work at Good Luck Cellars in Kilmarnock in December when a Wine Down turned into a medical emergency and the swift action of a stranger saved a life.

“I was actually dead. People say I was purple. I was gone. They brought me back,” said Don Peebles, who believes his being here today is nothing short of a miracle.

“That night will be a memorable night for all that took part in God’s work and how powerful they were in performing God’s work, a true miracle reviving the dead,” he said.

December 16 was a normal Friday evening at the estate winery on Goodluck Road. Friends typically gather there for the winery’s weekly social event with music and dancing. Peebles and his wife, Kathy, were heading back to their seats after a dance when he suddenly collapsed. There was no warning. His wife began to scream and frantic friends gathered around him.

Mark Tures was sitting at a table with friends when he heard the screams and a woman yelling does anybody know CPR?

Tures, who lives in Lottsburg and owns an auto repair shop in Fredericksburg, had taken a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) class from his daughter—a paramedic—two years ago. He’d never used his training until that fateful night.

“First I checked for a pulse on his neck and wrist and I couldn’t find one. Then I ripped open his shirt and put my head to his chest. I didn’t hear anything so I started CPR,” said Tures.

Good Luck patron and the Peebles’ friend, Gay Posey, jumped in to help and offered to relieve Tures if he got tired.

“But Donnie’s wife said, ‘we’ve been married over 50 years and I’m not ready to lose him,’ which gave me a little bit of an adrenal rush and I kept going,” said Tures.

About 30-40 seconds into CPR, Peebles seemed to be “coming around” so Tures stopped compressions. Eight or 10 seconds later Peebles’ heartbeat faded again.

“It was the first time I’d actually done CPR, and when he was unresponsive again, that’s when I realized I WAS his heartbeat,” said Tures.

Both Tures and Peebles say it was at least 15 minutes before emergency medical technicians (EMTs) arrived. Actually, Renee Smith, EMT intermediate and lead on the Lancaster Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team that night, said the crew was dispatched at 6:14 p.m. from the Kilmarnock-Lancaster County Volunteer Rescue Squad building on Harris Drive. They arrived at Peebles’ side at 6:20 p.m. and by some “miracle,” Peebles was responsive by 6:32 p.m.

When the EMS crew arrived, “his face was completely blue. He wasn’t breathing and . . . .

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