Pay It Forward: Nurse saves man in movie theater - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Pay It Forward: Nurse saves man in movie theater

PEORIA, AZ (CBS5) -

Manny Martinez is sitting on the back porch of his Goodyear home, quietly reading scriptures from the New Testament.

Martinez has never considered himself a religious man, but he recently saw the light -- literally.

"I was walking towards it, and my mom told me to go back. She's been dead for 20 years," said Martinez.

In February, Martinez went to a movie at the Arrowhead Mall Harkins, settled in with a popcorn, and then personally provided the drama.

"He flat-lined four times," said Rebecca Alvarado, Martinez's sister.

"I was trying to figure out how we were going to move him and where," said Karen Vargas, a nurse who was sitting a few rows in front of Martinez.

Realizing that Martinez was suffering a heart attack, Vargas quickly started CPR by giving Martinez non-stop chest compressions.

"I think it's the reason he's alive today," said Alvarado, who nominated Vargas for CBS 5's Pay It Forward program.

Vargas' fellow nurses at Banner Thunderbird applauded as Alvarado presented Vargas with the $500 reward.

Manny Martinez said he may go back to finish the movie once he's feeling stronger.

This time, he said he'll skip the popcorn.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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