Quick thinking waitress saves actor's life

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A quick thinking waitress saved a budding actor's life last weekend at a Midtown Memphis restaurant.

Jordan Nichols, 23, came back to Memphis to star in 'Pippin,' the grand opening production at the brand new Playhouse on the Square, the theater founded by his father, Jackie. But last Sunday while at the Blue Monkey in Midtown, Nichols collapsed.

"I had his head in my hands and said, 'Jordan! Jordan!' and I said, 'He's stopped breathing!'" said Playhouse director Scott Ferguson.

A bartender quickly sprung into action, along with a waitress, who happened to be a nurse in training.  The pair administered CPR until paramedics arrived.

"I encourage everyone out there in every business to make sure that you know CPR," Jackie Nichols said.

Jackie said his son has a rare heart defect that often strikes victims in their sleep.   Jordan would likely have died, had he not been in the right place, surrounded by the right people.

"The amazing folks at the Blue Monkey that happened to know CPR," he said. "The waitress I understand was not supposed to be at work that day and decided to come in, which makes it even more ironic."

For Jackie Nichols, the new Playhouse has been his life.  Now he can't help but wonder if his dream wasn't designed to bring his son back home at exactly the right time.  

"Opening night he'll be sitting in the audience, and I'm sure he and I over the next few weeks will be looking to see what show he can possible come back to do next year," Jackie said.

Jordan Nichols is still in intensive care, but is recovering well.  He'll have to have surgery to have a defibrillator placed in his chest to jump start his heart if this ever happens again.

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