TIFTON -- A Michigan man is alive after sustaining a massive heart attack thanks to the heroics of a local hotel worker, his wife said.

Alvin Martin, of Hastings, Mich., was having breakfast with his family last weekend at the Hampton Inn when he apparently sustained a massive heart attack.

"We were sitting there eating and Alvin was at the buffet," June Martin says. "All of a sudden he just collapsed and hit his head on the counter. It was terrifying."

Martin says that's when hostess Dana Certain rushed over and assessed the situation. While his son Michael opened Martin's airway and began breathing air into his lungs, Certain began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

Minutes later, emergency personnel arrived and whisked Martin away to Tift Regional while police drove his family to the hospital.

"If it wasn't for her I'm sure he would've been dead," June says. "She saved his life."

Martin was stabilized at Tift Regional before being transported to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany for treatment.

According to his wife, Martin had a bypass operation 15 years ago for a clogged artery. Doctors have told her that it was that artery that blocked the blood flow to his heart and caused the heart attack.

Martin is slowly getting better, his wife says, but he has a long way to go.

"They're supposed to pull him off the ventilator today," June said Tuesday. "And although he can't speak yet, he recognizes us as soon as we walk in the room."

Martin and her family will now always remember their stop at the Tifton Hampton Inn and will keep a special place in their hearts for Certain and the rest of the staff.

"When he gets better we'll head back to Michigan," Martin said. "Our home may be there, but now we'll always keep Georgia on our minds."

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