Watervliet bystander uses Narcan to save overdose victim
WATERVLIET – Alexis Castracani was not only in the right place at the right time Wednesday afternoon, she also had the courage, compassion, and know how to handle a medical emergency that was unfolding right before her eyes.
As Alexis was on the last leg of her commute home from work, driving down Third Avenue, she spotted a man in his mid 30s stumbling down the street, eventually collapsing onto the sidewalk.
“I saw the gentleman limp with his buddy holding him up,” she said.
Realizing something was terribly wrong, Alexis dialed 911, then got out of her car to help.
“His eyes were rolling back, he wasn’t breathing, and he was changing colors,” she recalled.
The moment she realized she had stumbled upon the scene of an overdose, Alexis ran back to her car to grab a box of Narcan from her glove compartment, then opened it, and administered it to the unconscious man.
Witnesses say she went about the rescue calmly and coolly.
Lo and behold, it worked. The man regained consciousness as he was lifted into an ambulance.
“If I hadn’t shown up when I did he would not be here,” Alexis stated. “When he was put into the ambulance and taken away, a couple of cops and paramedics came to me and said I saved a life, I saved his life.”
Three years ago, Alexis says she drove past another overdose patient but felt helpless to do anything. That’s why she attended a training session where she obtained a box of Narcan. It’s been in her car ever since.
“I was definitely in the right place at the right time,” she acknowledged.
Before her heroic adventure Wednesday afternoon, Alexis says she had already signed up to begin paramedic training and is waiting to hear back from an ambulance company that is looking to hire. She believes it is her calling in life and her passion, and after Wednesday, very few people are likely to doubt her.