It was like any other morning for Kurt Vaughn, a fresh-faced Starbucks employee who just turned 20. He was feeling a bit bleary-eyed as he put on his green apron, which has a name tag and an American flag pin on it. Kurt needed a coffee, and he was in the right place. He had no idea that soon, he would be a life-saving hero.
The Palm Springs location of Starbucks was calm like any morning, but only for the first fifteen minutes. After that, there was a hubbub- a customer had passed out on the patio where customers like to enjoy their morning coffee in the sun.
One of the healthy customers left their ice coffee sweating as they rushed inside to the counter, and asked frantically if anyone knew how to perform CPR. Kurt had not been officially certified, but he did have some knowledge of how to perform the life-sustaining procedure from when he learned it about 8 years prior when he was wearing a different uniform- that of a boy scout.
The affected man, 66-year-old Mike Furtado, came to Palm Spring to have a little rest and relaxation in his nearby timeshare. Instead, Kurt Vaughn was performing chest compressions on him, as other Starbucks employees held his legs and head up to direct the blood flow.
Furtado looked, “as pale as a piece of paper,” according to Vaughn, but as he started the compressions he thought that “things were happening and things were going well.”
Eventually, the paramedics came and brought Furtado to the Desert Regional Medical Center. Furtado is recovering after being in a coma. Even though he cannot remember the Starbucks experience, he still says of Kurt that, “He’s my hero, now.” CPR classes are available by the Red Cross, and knowing it can make a huge difference like it did at this California Starbucks.