Good Samaritans jump into action to help woman suffering seizure at Decatur gym


Natalie Smith, Savannah Aldridge and Amanda Kerrigan

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DECATUR, Ala. - From time to time, we run into people who make a difference in our lives. In the case of 19-year-old Savannah Aldridge, she met two women who truly turned out to be angels among us.

Savannah got serious about the gym, because she is into cosplay. She wants to be as strong as the characters she portrays. But her mom wasn't a fan of her late night workouts.

"It's been a battle between Savannah and I. I don't like her going out to the gym late at night," said Savannah's mom, Heather Aldridge. "I said what if something happens and I don't pick up the phone? And that's exactly what happened that night."

Two co-workers from a nearby Chick-Fil-A were working out at the same time as Savannah last Monday night.

"I was on the stair climber actually trying to keep up with her," said Amanda Kerrigan.

Kerrigan and Natalie were at the gym to work out, but there was another reason.

"I feel like perfect place, perfect time," said Kerrigan.

Amanda Kerrigan, left, and Natalie Smith

While working out, Savannah suffered a seizure.

"I remember falling asleep, and then like waking up and people were like standing over me," Savannah said. "I was like, 'this is new.'"

"I felt terrible, she hit her head so many times before we got to her," said Kerrigan. But she knew what to do.

"She stopped breathing, and I remember telling Kerrigan, 'Kerrigan, she's turning blue,'" Natalie said. "And Kerrigan somehow did something with her rib, hit her right below the rib and she started breathing again, I've never seen anything like it before in my life."

The seizure was a warning.

"She goes 'Heather, I've got to tell you, they found a mass on her brain,'" said Heather Aldridge. "At that point, I just remember screaming and thinking this isn't real. I'm trying not to get upset. I go to bed, my daughter's healthy, and a few hours later everything's changed."

It was brain cancer. The next day she had surgery to remove a ping-pong size tumor.

Savannah is embracing her short hair. In fact, she had recently just donated her hair to pediatric cancer patients.

"I literally grew my hair out for two and a half years to donate to cancer. I cut off like 17 inches, basically," she said.

And shes he's not worried about her scar. "It's a new part of me," she said.

Three days after her seizure, Savannah met up with her new best friends, Kerrigan and Natalie.

"I owe everything to those two girls because they saved my daughter's life," said Heather Aldridge.

The girls say they can't wait to get back in the gym to reach new heights, together.

This week Savannah will have a doctor appointment to see if the whole tumor was removed and determine a course of treatment.