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Pharmacist's quick action helps save local woman's life

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Albany/HV: Pharmacist's quick action helps save local woman's life
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What started as a routine trip to the pharmacy for a Clifton Park woman quickly turned into a life altering visit. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, if it wasn't for the quick thinking of the man filling her prescription, she may not be alive today.

HALFMOON, NY – "It's made me reassess my life. It truly has."

When Gail Kamm pulled into the Halfmoon Wal-Mart parking lot April 2nd, she was expecting a quick trip.

"I had asked my doctor to call in a new prescription for nitroglycerin and when I got here, it wasn't ready," Kamm said Thursday.

Pharmacist Brian Mack quickly began filing her order, but noticed something wasn't right with the 78-year-old woman.

"I had become more and more concerned that her symptoms fit a blockage in her lungs,” said Mack, who’s worked at the Route 9 store for five years. “Her symptoms, she just wasn’t well."

"I was short of breath,” Kamm said. “I was having difficulty breathing and had great pain in my side and my chest. I was extremely uncomfortable sitting there waiting."

"I told her that she really needed to seek medical attention right away, an emergency room visit right away and that she couldn't drive," Mack recalled.

"I wasn't going to go to the hospital,” Kamm said. “I said ‘no!’ He tried to reason with me, I argued with him. I'm embarrassed to say I really gave him a hard time."

"That's a tough thing to swallow as someone who's driven into the store, to be told you can't leave," Mack said.

Before long, Kamm agreed to have a relative pick her up and take her to St. Peter's, where doctors delivered shocking news.

"They diagnosed exactly what Brian said,” Kamm said. “I had a blood clot in my leg and I had duel pulmonary embolisms. In other words, [I had] a blood clot in each lung."

"It turned out that I was underestimating how badly off she was," said Mack, who says several times a year he has to recommend customers seek immediate medical treatment.

"A number of people have told me I was very fortunate, that Brian, in a way, probably saved my life," Kamm said.

After a short stay in the hospital, Kamm now has a clean bill of health and a newfound appreciation for both life and her pharmacist.

"The fact you've dramatically affected someone's life and their families have them with them for a much longer life expectancy, it's just priceless," said Mack, who was reunited with Kamm Thursday afternoon at the pharmacy.

"There's no way I can ever repay him,” Kamm said. “There's no amount of money. A tray of brownies won't do it I don't think."

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