Henrico police officer credits ‘divine providence’ after saving man whose heart stopped

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Henrico County Police Officer is crediting divine providence with the chain of events that led to him helping save a man’s life in Short Pump last week.

“It’s one of those things where you just kind of having to take a step back and realize that it wasn’t completely me that did it,” said Officer Jonathan Turner on Monday. “There were just so many little details and connecting with the family made it even more apparent that there’s nothing other than divine providence that allowed all the little details to line up and put both of us in the right place at the right time to be able to administer the live-saving aid."

Turner, a School Resource Officer at Elko Middle School, said prior to the incident on Tuesday, November 24, he wanted to take his wife and three-year-old son to a trampoline park.

“It took some pushing and pulling of our son to get him to want to go. He just wanted to stay at home,” added Turner.

Officer Jonathan Turner

He said that they eventually convinced their son to come out. After spending some time at the park, they left early in order to go get dinner, but did not know where they wanted to go.

“So, we decided to go to ‘Cook Out.’”

Around the same time Turner was heading to the restaurant, John Luck Jr., 79, was in the parking lot of ‘Cook Out’ walking back inside to fix the order he had gotten from the drive-through. However, shortly after getting out of his car, Luck suffered a medical emergency, his heart stopped, and fell to the ground.

Turner pulled into the parking lot moments after it happened.

"We pulled in and as we were pulling in my wife noticed the gentleman laying on the ground over there next to the handicap parking space,” said Turner. “So, I pulled straight in and was able to run over and start rendering aid to the gentleman as he was laying down in the parking lot over here.”

Officer Jonathan Turner

Turner said Luck had no pulse and was not breathing so he started performing CPR. He said he did that for about two to three minutes before on-duty police and paramedics arrived on scene to take over.

“It’s a good feeling. There’s not really another feeling to describe what it’s like being able to know that you made such an immediate and lasting impact,” said Turner, who added this was not the first time he has stepped in to help with a medical emergency while out with his family. “We’ve had medical issues, like, when we go to church, we had somebody that had a seizure and just knowing if something happens I’m going to jump into without even thinking.”

Turner said once the first responders arrived on scene, he went back to his original Tuesday night plans.

“I went inside and had dinner with my family. ‘Cuz that’s all I try to do. No, I don’t think any other first responder in the same situation, wouldn’t have done anything different. It’s one of those things that we’re trained to just act, and we don’t really have time to think about what’s going on. You just revert to your training and once you’re done it’s just part of the job,” said Turner.

John Luck Jr.

He added his wife looked after his son during the entire ordeal but said his son was aware of what happened afterward.

“He kept asking about the man that was hurt if he was feeling better. So, that was sweet being able to tell him that he is feeling better,” said Turner.

While Turner downplayed his efforts that night, Luck’s family posted on social media about what happened, thanking him and hoping to connect with him. Turner said he has since spoken with Luck’s daughter, but will meet Luck when both are feeling a little better (Turner said he is recovering from a cold).

Luck’s daughter, Lisa Gravitt, said her dad was in the hospital on Thanksgiving but has since been discharged and is recovering. She added the family was able to have Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday night to make up for lost time.

“All these details lined up perfectly to be able to give this family a Thanksgiving to remember for a good reason, instead of it being a somber one,” said Turner.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Mr. Luck suffered a heart attack. His family had told CBS 6 doctors believed her father's heart stopped as a result of his extreme COPD and A-Fib.

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