Security supervisor Thia Chaar attends to a man who collapsed at the lottery booth in Semiahmoo Shopping Centre. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey security guard commended for CPR efforts

Man ‘seemed very close to death’ after collapsing at lottery booth

It was a rare moment for Thia Chaar last month, when she was alerted to a man who had collapsed after buying a lottery ticket in Semiahmoo Shopping Centre.

In four years as security supervisor at the mall, just twice has a life-or-death emergency occurred on her watch.

“It really doesn’t (happen often),” Chaar said.

“A lot of security is just prevention.”

Fortunately for those whose lives were at stake on those two occasions, Chaar knew what to do.

“We are so proud of the quick action taken by our Thia and our Semiahmoo Security team,” Jeri Cox, marketing director for the shopping centre, told Peace Arch News in an email highlighting Chaar’s response to the latest incident.

It occurred at the lottery booth, at around 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 18.

Lottery booth attendant Lisa Lawson said she alerted Chaar after checking on a man in his 50s who started to sway in front of her, then collapsed.

Chaar, 28, said she knew as soon as she saw the man that the situation was dire.

“His eyes were open. He wouldn’t respond to me, wouldn’t look at me,” the South Surrey resident told PAN.

“It seemed to me he was very close to death… either gone or about to go.”

Calling on her First Aid training, Chaar checked his pulse, then began CPR. After about 30 chest compressions, the man began to show signs of life.

“He took a breath and his body kind of jerked a bit,” she said.

Chaar said she stayed with the man, monitoring his condition and offering reassurance, until emergency crews arrived.

By then, the man was able to speak, advising that his chest had been hurting prior to his collapse.

In the previous incident, last January, Chaar said she performed CPR on a young woman who was found unresponsive in the washrooms near the mall’s centre court. She, too, didn’t have a pulse, but was brought back to life.

Chaar – with a background that includes work as a caregiver and religious studies at UBC – said a quick response in such situations can be pivotal to the outcome.

“Those first interventions can really make the difference,” she said. “In those first five minutes, somebody has to intervene.”

Chaar told PAN this week that she still doesn’t know how the man fared after he was taken to hospital, but is hopeful he’ll make a full recovery.

“I’ve definitely been thinking about him and hoping that he’s alright. It’s not something you forget about after it happens.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Thia Chaar, head of security at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre, remains hopeful the man she performed CPR on last month, is on his way to a full recovery. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Just Posted

South Surrey man to bike across Canada

Last minute decision to take Rajiv Dhaliwal on three-month journey

White Rock RCMP reviews street checks for racial bias

Report indicates checks are being conducted bias-free

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

PHOTOS: Surrey rally supports Mona Wang, calls for wellness check reform

Security camera footage shows Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check at UBCO

Filming applications ‘coming in slowly’ to the City of Surrey

Netflix cancels ‘Sabrina’, but filming manager says new calls coming in to film in Cloverdale

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Most Read

l -->