John Ogburn doesn’t remember a single thing about Monday, June 26.
He doesn’t remember waking up that morning, or helping prepare breakfast for his three young children, or kissing his wife Sarabeth goodbye, or any of the meetings he had with landscape design clients. He doesn’t remember driving to the Panera Bread in Cotswold Village. He doesn’t remember going to his favorite booth in the back, where he regularly sat for hours doing work on his laptop.
He doesn’t remember crumpling to the floor at about quarter past 4, his heart gone completely, terrifyingly still.
He doesn’t remember any of the many, many things that happened next. But in the two and a half weeks since, he’s come to understand this: If a single one of those things “didn’t happen correctly,” he says, “it could have gone differently pretty quickly.” And John Ogburn would be dead.
‘It was a bad situation. It was really bad.’
April Bradley was just starting her shift that afternoon as a delivery driver for Panera Bread. She went to clock in after grabbing a drink cup for her brother, who headed to the dining room to fill it but quickly returned to tell her that someone was passed out in the back of the restaurant.
When they got to Ogburn, whom she immediately recognized as a regular, he was splayed out on the carpet and “his face was just like – ooooooo,” she shivers at the thought. “Dark purple – it was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.” She picked up the phone and dialed 911, at 4:17 p.m.
The response to the call came faster than anyone could have imagined.
Maybe a football field away, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officer Lawrence Guiler had just finished tending to a minor accident and was in his cruiser about to get back on the road.
“I was leaving that report, made the left in the Harris Teeter parking lot, and the call came out for a male in cardiac arrest at the Panera Bread,” Guiler says. “I look up, and the Panera Bread is right there. So, immediately, I just told our dispatch, ‘Hey, I’m right here, put me on the call,’ and I went in to find him on the ground.”
“It was a bad situation. It was really bad.”