When Wayne Colburn woke up in a hospital bed, he wasn’t sure why he was there, or how he got there. But he did know that the woman standing by his side was sent from God.
“Mr. Colburn, I know you don’t know me…” she began.
“I know who you are. You’re my angel,” he said to Jennifer Folds, a nurse in the intensive care unit at Providence Hospital in Mobile.
Jennifer had been driving on Airport Boulevard on her day off, passing Burger King, when she saw something that seemed not quite right. Within seconds, she realized a man was lying on the pavement between his car and the curb.
She found herself pulling off Airport and running to him.
That morning, Wayne and his wife of 48 years, Shirley, had left home in Lucedale, Miss., and headed south to Pascagoula, where he bought her a new car. The last thing he remembers is getting on I-10, bound for Mobile, where he had a doctor’s appointment at Providence.
Shirley, meanwhile, hadn’t noticed that anything was wrong with her husband. He doesn’t usually talk much while they’re driving, anyway, she says. They decided to stop at a Burger King not far from the hospital, but, as Wayne got out of the car, he fell, hitting his head on the curb. He lay there gasping for air, his face turning blue.
Shirley ran inside the restaurant, asking one of the employees to call 911, then waited for the ambulance by her husband’s side. She threw her hands in the air and called to God for help.
And that’s when help arrived, in the form of Jennifer. Wayne was on his side, so she turned him over onto his back and opened his shirt, noticing the scar on this chest from open-heart surgery. She started CPR on him and continued with chest compressions until the paramedics arrived.
‘I think I have a purpose now’
Wayne is “a very lucky man” to be alive today, says Jennifer, who earned her nursing degree in 2014 and is in the process of becoming an acute care nurse practitioner. He was in full cardiac arrest, with no pulse, when she…