PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Police officers are involved in our communities and enjoy checking out local establishments during their meal break like many others do. This time, a couple of Phoenix police officers got more than their go-to meal – they were able to save a woman's life. For many officers, saving someone's life comes with the job and is done without a second thought. Still, one manager believed it wasn't something he could let slide by without a personal thank you to these officers.

Phoenix officers save 5 & Diner waitress

Ryan Ladden, the District Manager of all 5 & Diner locations in the Valley, says he is grateful for a couple of Phoenix police officers after they saved the life of one of his employees while stopping by the Phoenix location on July 8 for some breakfast. The incident, Ladden says, happened on Thursday between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.

"The officers came in, as usual, for their break. My employee greeted them and sat them. They noticed something off about her and recognized that it might be medical. She is very stubborn, and (I think since they know her) they called medical to check her out just to be safe. EMT showed up and determined she needed to be transported. It turns out she had fluid around her heart, and doctors told her that if it wasn't taken care of in 24 hrs, she might have died," Ladden explained.

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Ladden says officers are very familiar with their morning staff after stopping by, especially in the morning over the last 10 to 30 years. He says he is beyond grateful for these officers for taking care of his employee. He went out of his way to thank police in a personal letter, aware that these officers are trained to "recognize things that aren't quite right," hoping that they realize the impact and difference they made in her life.

Phoenix Police Officer Tony

Phoenix Police Officer Tony.

"We never thought it would be possible that ordering coffee or a chicken fried steak would actually save somebody's life," said Officer Tony. Tony said he comes to the 5 & Diner regularly and has made friends with the waitresses who serve him, which is why he noticed something was off with his server.

"She was totally different than what we normally deal with," said Tony. "You just could see the way she was walking around, and it was just totally off. At one point, we saw her actually sit down and started complaining about some pain in her back." 

The waitress is doing much better and has returned to work. The waitress does not like attention, which is why she asked Arizona's Family to keep her face off camera and name out of the story. She was also reluctant when Tony wanted to call the fire department to get her health checked out.

"I'm stubborn," said the waitress. "I wouldn't have called. I would have went home and went to bed, tried to sleep it off, but then I found out that wasn't a good idea."

"As they were loading her up, she actually turned to us and said, 'I will deal with you two next week,'" said Tony.

When the waitress had a chance to thank Tony on Tuesday, she said it was bittersweet. 

"I gave him a hug, but I wanted to kill him," said the waitress.

"To find out that we possibly saved her life was kind of cool," said Tony.

Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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