South Florida motorist who had medical episode reunited with good Samaritans

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The good Samaritans whose actions saved a South Florida woman who suffered a medical episode while driving through a busy intersection were reunited with the grateful motorist on Friday.

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Laurie Rabyor, 63, of West Palm Beach, became unconscious behind the wheel of her vehicle on May 5 at the intersection of Congress Avenue and Woolbright Road in Boynton Beach, WPTV reported. Rabyor blamed a mix of blood pressure medications and fasting for a colonoscopy for losing consciousness, according to the television station.

Rabyor, who had told her co-workers that she was not feeling well and was going home, was driving north on Congress Avenue when she lost consciousness, WPBF-TV reported.

In a video posted by the Boynton Beach Police Department, Rabyor’s co-worker, Jannette Rivera, was in another car and can be seen waving her arms to get the attention of other drivers as the vehicle moved slowly through the intersection, WPTV reported.

“Thank you so much. I don’t know how to thank you,” Rabyor told WPEC on Wednesday. “I wish I was a millionaire, so I could buy y’all a boat.”

Rabyor got the chance to thank the people who saved her during a ceremony Friday at the Boynton Beach Police Department, WPBF reported.

“They all just came together to help (a) little old lady, me” Rabyor said. “I appreciate it so, so much, you don’t even know and my children love you, they just love you because you helped their mom.”

Rivera said she just reacted when she saw Rabyor slumped behind the wheel.

“I didn’t think about my life, you know. I just saw her going to the other car, and the other car was going to hit her,” Rivera told WPTV. “And I am like, ‘Oh no. She’s going to get hurt.’ But I tried to do my best.”

>> Video shows strangers stop car, rescue driver in Florida

Rivera’s efforts worked. The good Samaritans, identified as Juan Chavez, Jr., Michael Edelstein, David Formica, DaVida Peele, Marko Bartolone and Muriel Vaughns were able to stop the vehicle from moving while one of the men tried to break a window with his fist, the television station reported.

Moments later, one of the women grabbed a dumbbell from her car and handed it to another man, who broke the glass, WPTV reported. The concerned citizens remained at the scene until paramedics arrived, according to the television station.

“I would like to give the other lady back her dumbbell because it was still in my car,” Rabyor told WPEC on Wednesday, laughing.

Police announced that Rivera and other good Samaritans each would be receiving a six- to eight-night cruise from Royal Caribbean and a $2,000 gift card. The police department presented the group with “lifesaving awards,” WPBF reported.

“It speaks to the character of our community,” interim police chief Vanessa Snow said during the ceremony.

“These actions really show your character and the character of the people who live in Boynton Beach,” Boynton Beach vice mayor Angela Cruz said.

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