How a South Bend police officer saved a woman’s life after misplacing his phone

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 7:13 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - It was just another day on the job for South Bend Police Captain Joe Leszczynski.

“It was just a regular day coming to work and everything,” Leszczynski said.

The only problem, his phone was missing.

“I told the supervisor I got to go home and I got to find my cell phone,” Leszczynski says.

Expecting an important phone call soon, Leszcynski got in the car and headed back home but before he could get there, something unsettling caught his eye as he approached State Road 23 and Crumstown Highway.

“I was getting ready to turn and I look and some guy, what it looks like, she’s pulling a body out of the passenger side of the car. And I’m like what the heck is that?!”

Without hesitation, Leszczynski rushed over and began performing CPR.

“I run around the passenger side of the car and there is this guy looking over this, which I now see is a female, and the female is just like unconscious and everything,” Leszczynski recalled. “And I’m like, what is going on? The guy looks at me and goes, she’s dead. And I’m like, what? He’s like, she’s dead!”

The woman, who had overdosed from heroin, had no heartbeat. But eight minutes of chest compressions and a can of Narcan later, that would change.

“Just as we Narcaned the lady, the ambulance drives up. And about 45 seconds later, the lady is coming to because the Narcan is starting to work on her and everything,” Leszczynski added, saying the woman eventually would regain consciousness.

Medics transported the woman to the hospital where she was treated and will reportedly be okay. As for Leszczynski, he was recognized this week for his lifesaving heroics with the South Bend Police Department Life Saving Award.

But in the end, there was still one thing that was missing.

“When I finally went home, I got over there , went into the house, my wife was there. I found my phone on the counter when I walked into my house! She goes, ‘I’m sorry I put in my purse. I said, ‘You don’t understand. Because you accidentally took my phone, I saved a woman’s life on my way here,’” Leszczynski told 16 News Now Thursday.

He does not forget his phone often, but for Leszczynski, he will always remember that this helped save a life.

“This is the first time to me, personally, that I was driving by somewhere and I just happened to be in the right spot at that right time. And it’s all because of that phone. Yep, it’s all because of a cell phone,” Leszczynski says.

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