Strangers show kindness in man’s final moments inside Post convenience store
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Often times the scariest or hardest moments can bring out the best in people.
That’s what happened a few weeks ago, when a man collapsed in a gas station outside Post.
Amanda Hair is a customer service representative there, at the CEFCO convenience store. She says wasn’t scheduled to work the morning of January 16, but by divine intervention, she was behind the counter when Steve McCarter collapsed inside the store.
“A guy jumped into action and he started giving CPR. He asked me did I feel a pulse ‘cause I was holding the man’s hand and I’d been praying and he was like you feel a pulse?” Hair said.
McCarter was traveling through town with his wife Cherei, who later told Hair they were hoping to start a new chapter here in West Texas, in Anton. They were stopping along their travels when he fell, close to the bathroom. Store workers sprang into action, performing CPR and calling first responders. Before taking her own turn performing CPR, Hair stayed by McCarter’s side, holding his hand and praying over him.
“I was praying with him. I had his hand and every time I kept saying Jesus, he would jerk his hand up and we were still trying to get him to breathe,” Hair said.
First responders took McCarter to be airlifted to the hospital, but he died before takeoff. Cherei and their son Beau came back to the CEFCO days later, to thank Hair for being there in Steve’s final moments.
“It seemed like we knew each other. It was just hugs and of course his mom is still taking it one day at a time and of course I know it’s not going to be easy,“ Hair said. “That’s an amazing family. They have kept this man’s memory alive and they had so many memories of him and so much that this man did.”
Beau says his mom asked if Hair could take a picture with Beau’s road pal ’Beary,’ since the stuffed animal was in Beau’s hands in Missouri while Hair held his dad’s hand.
Beau sent a statement on behalf of his family, thanking all of the first responders who were there that day and the folks at CEFCO:
“In moments of tragedy, complete strangers can show the very best of who they are and the events of Jan. 16th proved that. We would like to thank Amanda Hair for staying by Steve’s side in his final moments, the entire CEFCO staff, Bill Wilson, funeral director in Post, for his time and compassion, Cathleen Pollard for her devotion and friendship, and all the Post, Texas EMT’s, Sheriff’s Department, and Police Department for their immediate call to action. While we will miss Steve dearly, we will never forget the love, kindness, and compassion that was shown to him and to our family.”
After talking with the McCarters, Hair noticed a few things she believes are more than just coincidence.
Steve looked like her father, who died about seven years ago. Beau’s name was originally supposed to be Amanda, when his parents thought he would be a girl.
Steve wrote several children’s books, and one of his characters was named D’Amanda. Hair says that’s what her nieces and nephews used to call her. While they were strangers, Hair says she and the McCarters now have a bond she’ll never forget.
“But to know that the family is so close knit and that they are content with how he passed, I just believe in my heart that it was, it was God’s will you know?” Hair said.
Amanda says she always leaves her customers at the CEFCO with a God bless you, because says never know what people are going through. She hopes her kindness can encourage others to do the same.
“You’ve got to say something positive. And you never know what someone’s going through. There’s a time where I’ve said God bless you or have a blessed day and they’ve broke down crying, and I’ve come around the counter and just prayed with them. Because you never know what somebody’s going through,” Hair said.
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