For one cashier, it was just a normal day at work. She had spent her shift serving customers with a smile. However, when one woman arrived at the counter, she grew concerned. Then, as the customer’s eyes glazed over, the store worker instinctively grabbed the woman’s baby.
Rebecca Montano works in a convenience store in Arvada, Colorado. Her job duties included serving customers from behind a counter. However, in March 2016 she added potentially saving a life to her list of work achievements.
Montano’s shift had presumably got off to a fairly average start. She was acting as the store’s cashier, selling the establishment’s product range to paying customers. However, when one lady arrived at the till, Montano got a bad feeling about her.
The woman in question was in her early 20s and cradling a baby in her arms. She had entered the convenience store to buy a soda. But little did she know that this seemingly everyday errand would end in disaster.
When the customer arrived at the counter, Montano noticed that she looked unwell. Concerned, the cashier decided to keep an eye on her. And in a matter of seconds, she saw the young mom’s demeanor change completely.
“All of a sudden she had a glazed look on her face and I knew something was wrong,” Montano told KDVR in 2016. The store worker wasn’t sure what was about to happen, but something told her to grab the small baby from the customer’s clutches.
Recalling the incident, Montano told 9News, “I was talking to the baby and she – the girl – had a glazed look on her face. I wasn’t sure; I felt uneasy about it.” Furthermore, she said, “I was asking her, ‘Is everything okay?’” But things got worse. “I grabbed the baby’s arm and she started to sway. She wouldn’t answer me.”
With the infant safely in her arms, Montano watched in horror as its mother started rocking back and forth. She tried to talk to the woman, presumably to see if she was okay. However, the customer was unable to speak.
At that point, Montano knew something was severely wrong with the woman. “She was just lost in space, so I thought I better take the baby, something doesn’t feel right,” Montano explained to 9News. “And then right there she started to fall and I wasn’t sure still exactly what was going on.”
The woman tilted her head backwards and slid down the counter. Instinctively, Montano reached out to grab the lady. However, she was unable to keep hold of her, and the customer eventually collapsed onto the floor.
“I came over to help the girl and she was having a seizure,” the store worker later revealed to KDVR. Somehow though, Montano managed to keep her composure. She handed the baby over to another customer and turned her attention to helping the woman.
Montano attended to the lady on the floor and dialed 911. Soon, paramedics arrived on the scene and quickly transported the woman to hospital. Thanks to Montano’s intervention, the mother quickly recovered from her ordeal, and both she and her baby were doing well.
Soon after the incident, the young mother returned to Montano’s store to express her gratitude in person. “She came back yesterday afternoon to tell me thank you for saving her baby,” Montano revealed. The customer also explained that she’d suffered from seizures for a long time.
After her admirable actions, Montano had a steady stream of customers coming to praise her at the counter. “It’s people like you who make the world right,” one man told her in front of KDVR’s cameras.
It wasn’t just the general public who took the time to congratulate Montano. Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado spokesperson Susan Hagar praised the cashier for her expert reaction. According to her, Montano did the right thing on this occasion.
“In this case, the store clerk responded appropriately despite [not having] any specific knowledge or training,” Hagar told 9News. “People who live with seizures not only have to deal with the medication issues, but also a pervasive stigma fueled by misinformation and misconceptions about the disorder.”
According to the British Epilepsy Association, if someone experiences a seizure, bystanders should remove harmful objects from their vicinity and cushion their head. After this, they can look for any epilepsy ID cards and make them more comfortable by putting them in the recovery position. First aiders are not advised to move or restrain the person in need.
Montano’s story was also featured on The Doctors. On the show, one of the panel gushed, “[Montano] didn’t even seem to hesitate. She saw it happening, she didn’t overthink it, she didn’t wonder what’s going to happen to me, she just cared about her and I just wish more people were like that.”
However, despite all the attention she received, the cashier denied that she was a hero. Instead, she said she acted without thinking. “I’m a mother. I’m a grandmother. It’s motherly instinct to worry about children,” Montano told KDVR.
Montano added that she was just happy that no harm came to the infant. “I just wanted to save the baby from getting hurt,” she said to 9News. “If she would’ve fallen with the baby in her arms, who knows where that baby would’ve landed?”