Smiles Behind the Shield: Foley Police officer Tommy Smith and a grateful heart

Baldwin County

Offc. Tommy Smith meets Phillip Melton for the first time after saving his life,.

FOLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — It doesn’t happen often enough. A reunion between a lifesaver and the person he saved.

“I’ve been trying to think of what to say to ya,” but this was a meeting Phillip Melton needed to happen so he could say thank you. “I don’t think there are enough words for the deep gratitude that I feel for saving my life thank you so much.”

Last month, Phillip Melton was at the Lowe’s in Foley. “The last thing I remember at Lowe’s was trying to grab a couple pieces of trim wood and get checked out because I felt like I needed to sit down.”

Foley Police Officer Tommy Smith was also there, off-duty and shopping with his son. “I heard you drop your wood right in front of us walking down the aisle and you hit the ground shortly thereafter.”

It was a massive heart attack. “I remember somebody said does anybody know CPR and I said I got this,” said Smith, and he did. “He didn’t have a pulse. He was breathing very, very shallow.”

Smith started chest compressions, someone dialed 911. It took five minutes to get his heart beating again.

“I don’t remember talking to God or floating above my body,” says Melton. “I was a little disappointed there maybe.”

Now a month out from open heart surgery, Melton is home, recovering. “I am alive and it’s just a miracle to me.”

Devine intervention, Melton’s wife Jody Beth thinks so. “We believe that God put you and Phillip face to face that day.”

Helping in his recovery, getting to meet the man that saved his life. “I try to do right by the people of this city and make sure they’re taken care of,” says Smith who adds any first responder in the same position would have reacted like he did.

That’s why we honor Foley Police Officer Tommy Smith with this month’s Smiles Behind the Shield award.

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