A quick trip to Walmart and a willingness to get involved may have saved a life recently.

Cari Harrison Cruse, a certified nursing assistant, at ReNu Life, is in the profession to help others.

"Every day I ask God to help me bless someone," she said.

When she stopped at the Walmart on Spence Avenue, though, she didn't know that prayer would be answered.

"I was in the shampoo aisle when someone yelled, 'Call 911,'" she said.

She walked over to the pharmacy area where two women -- one appearing to be a pharmacy employee -- were helping a third to lie down.

"I was like, 'Why are you laying her down?'" Cruse said. "As soon as I said it, I felt super-rude."

The woman had apparently collapsed for unknown reasons.

Cruse suggested they roll her onto her side.

"I saw the blood pressure cuff right there and I was like, 'Did you check her blood pressure?' They said it wouldn't read anything so I looked at (the woman). She was limp. She was basically unresponsive."

Cruse asked if there was a manual blood pressure cuff so she could check.

"The lady that worked at Walmart said, 'Grab that cuff off the shelf,'" she said. "So I did and then out of the corner of my eye, I saw a gentleman in scrubs and I was like, 'Oh, thank God!' because really, I don't know if he's a nurse, but I'm not a nurse.

"I've been at ReNu Life for 13 years but when we have an emergency, it's like we're all together so you can kind of bounce off each other like, 'what do you think's wrong with her?' But when you're there by yourself, you just want to figure out the vitals."

The experience was a little too fresh for her, having discovered her grandmother unresponsive just four months ago, and the woman had passed away.

Cruse didn't want the same thing to happen on her watch.

"I was like, 'We've got to save this woman!" she said. "I was freaking out.

"I looked at the guy and I didn't want to be loud. I just kind of looked at him and said, 'I don't hear anything.' And then he was like, 'Let me try.'"

They again got no response, prompting Cruse to ask those in the pharmacy if they had called 911 and shared that it was critical -- no pulse, no blood pressure reading. She was reassured that had happened and the first responders were on the way.

They decided to check her sugar, asking if anyone had a sugar meter.

"This little lady comes out of the audience or out of the crowd -- there was a crowd -- and she's like, 'I have one,' and she had it already ready," Cruse said. "I said, 'Ma'am,we're going to prick your finger,' and I pricked her finger, and she didn't even flinch. Nothing.

"I checked it and it read nothing. I told him, it's too low; it's not reading anything."

In that moment, sitting in the middle of the pharmacy aisle, it occurred to her just how "crazy" things were that they were surrounded by shelves of medical-related supplies.

"I said, 'Reach up there and grab some of that glucose gel.' I mean, it was like a foot away from us."

The pharmacist had provided them with gloves and the man informed the woman he was going to administer the gel in her mouth, asking if she was diabetic.

She did not reply.

"All it is really is glucose," Cruse said. "I mean, it just jumps your sugar up, basically.

"We sat there for a minute or two -- this whole thing all happened in like five minutes, you know what I mean? And then he said, 'Check it again.' I said, 'Ma'am, I'm going to prick your finger again' and when I did it, she jumped."

Cruse was overjoyed to get a response, she says.

"I was like, 'Praise be!'" she said. "She was like waking up and that's when the paramedics got there and the guy kinda caught them up on what was going on.

"She was able to sit up and get on the stretcher and ride out."

Crisis averted, but for the four-person rescue team -- Cruse along with the gentleman in scrubs, the woman who had been on the bench with the patient and the woman who stepped in with a glucose meter -- the adrenaline was still pumping.

They all just kind of looked at one another, she said, the emotion still palpable.

"We were like almost in tears," Cruse said. "We were like, oh my God, I can't believe that just happened! People in the crowd were clapping and everybody was saying things like, 'Praise God!' 'Can you believe it, that all that happened?'

"I mean, if we had been on the Clorox aisle, you know what I mean. I mean you just never know."

It was definitely a God moment, she said, an amazing case of being in the right place at the right time.

Complete strangers who just came together, she said.

So Cruse did the natural next thing -- took a selfie of the group.

"I was like, 'y'all, we gotta take a picture," she said with a laugh. "I gotta tell my friend about this.

"So before I got to the next aisle, I was shaking, like typing it on Facebook and then I shared it."

Four strangers, all "just shopping at Walmart," Cruse said, and she still doesn't even know their names.

She said she believed the man in the scrubs worked at Skill Creations but was unsuccessful in finding out his name when she called. A News-Argus reporter contacted the human resources director who was not able to confirm the person's identity.

Cruse will not soon forget him, though, or his expertise in a crisis.

"He knew what I needed before I needed it and I knew what he needed before he needed it," she said. "We worked as a team, and we'd never even met each other."

The store also deserved a nod for the way staff handled the situation, she said.

"They told us to just take it off the shelf so we ended up taking a blood pressure cuff, a stethoscope, a box of glucose gel, a box of gloves. We just grabbed what we needed," she said.

Reflecting back on the unexpected turn of events, Cruse said it restored her faith in humanity.

"We all came together," she said. "It feels good to know that you really just helped somebody, like really helped somebody."