PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - This will be a special Thanksgiving for the family of Lucedale Mayor Doug Lee. Just one week ago, the mayor suffered a heart attack and collapsed in a store parking lot.
The mayor says he is forever grateful to the people who responded so quickly and saved his life. He actually remembers very little of what happened.
"Nothing really. I remember walking out in the parking lot, reaching for a pole 'cause I might have got dizzy. And that was it, until I woke up down here in the hospital," he recalled.
Patrice Clark shared the story of first responders Joe Apker and David Smith coming to the mayor's aid; giving his heart a jolt with a portable defibrillator.
The mayor also credits a good Samaritan named Derrick Musgrove.
"To my understanding, he was going to do some shopping himself there at the Dollar General and seen me laying on the ground and come over. And he worked on me until one of the first responders got there. Just fortunate that everybody was in the right place at the right time. When it needed to click, it did. And I'm very grateful. And I'm here by the grace of God," said Mayor Lee.
Doug Lee is much loved throughout George County and Lucedale. Back in June, the 66-year-old was elected to his fifth term as mayor of Lucedale and received nearly 63 percent of the vote.
As you might imagine, the mayor's family was at first frightened, then grateful.
"Very terrifying. Very eye opening experience. But we're just so grateful for all the people who just helped save my dad's life. And that's what they did. He would not be there without those people. So, we are truly grateful," said his youngest daughter, Tanya Hendrix.
"I just want to thank everybody that was involved with this. Because many times we just, we take everything for granted," said Mayor Lee.
He is recovering nicely, and needed two stents, along with a small defibrillator which was implanted.
The mayor says he'll do everything in his power to promote the importance of learning CPR.