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Buffalo community leader revived by NYS Senator shares story of faith, CPR

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As Bills player Damar Hamlin recovers in Buffalo, News 4 met with a Buffalo community leader who CPR also saved. She was revived by a New York State senator and carried by the power of prayer.

“It was like someone was caressing my soul and encouraging me, ‘Just don’t give up.’ It was an amazing, amazing feeling,” Marnetta Malcolm recalled.

That feeling — the whisper of prayers from those visiting her bedside.

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Malcolm spent three days in May 2022 at Buffalo General after suffering cardiac arrest.

“I’m such an energetic person, so I can’t even imagine my heart stopping for a minute,” Malcolm said. “And then for it to stop for ten minutes.”

She grew up on Buffalo’s East Side, boosting Buffalo and the people around her. So when 10 people were killed in the horrific shooting at the Jefferson Avenue Tops, her heart broke learning that she grew up with many of the victims.

“All that was overwhelming to see day after day and I was like ‘Well we’ll do something nice for Zaire because his birthday is coming up’ and we’ll plan this party,” she said.

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A birthday party for a survivor of the Tops Markets shooting — Zaire Goodman.

Malcolm helped Goodman’s mother Zeneta Everhart plan the celebration at Canisius College.

“I remember driving up to the party. And the next thing I know it was Tuesday. They said that I had a cardiac arrest,” Malcolm told News 4. “They said that Senator Tim Kennedy, Tearah Massenburg and Mo Sumbundu did CPR and saved my life.”

“And for me to survive I got shocked three times, three people worked on me. When I woke up it was three days later. And I’m going to say three is a powerful number that is the power of God.”

Zaire’s mother is an employee of Senator Kennedy who was in attendance.

Malcolm says calls to 9-1-1 were hung up on by an operator.

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That’s when Kennedy, who has a medical background, jumped in.

“We were switching on and off, one of us would beholding Marnetta’s head and neck to keep her airway open, while the others switched on and off doing chest compressions,” Senator Kennedy told News 4.

Malcolm made a full recovery and is back serving the community she loves. She believes her cardiac arrest was caused by stress. She’s been praying hard for Damar Hamlin and is excited to see him use his platform for good.

Malcolm added that she keeps in touch with Senator Kennedy often.

The two agree that CPR is a skill set everyone should learn because you never know when you might be able to save a life.

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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