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In Fort Myers: A Hometown Hero Brightens the Day

There are days when we can all use a ray of sunshine.  And yesterday, that ray was Vonda Chatman, a team member at PDQ in Fort Myers, Fla.   She was working inside the restaurant when suddenly a violent thunderstorm began, causing a power outage inside and flashes of lightning outside.

PDQ's CFO Nick Reader drove down from Tampa to congratulate Vonda on going above and beyond.
PDQ’s CFO and co-founder Nick Reader drove down from Tampa to congratulate Vonda on going above and beyond.

Vonda said, “It lit the whole building up and then everything just went off. I saw the lightning hit the pole. I looked over and saw the lady shaking a little and the daughter looked like she was dazed.”

A pregnant woman and her family had just left the restaurant when a bolt of lightning, strong enough to knock out power, shocked her as she was leaning against the bus stop shelter.

Without thinking of her personal safety, Vonda raced outside to offer assistance. She helped the woman and her small child back into the restaurant. The mother and child were taken to Lee Memorial Hospital.

Vonda explained, “I just kicked into mother instinct and just ran out there. I don’t care if I would’ve got shocked as long as I know they were okay. She got some medical treatment. I feel better now.”

PDQ patron Lynndy West wrote on Facebook: “Another example of PDQ team’s commitment to the community! Way to go Vonda! Amazing community partners and exceptional team members! Awesome food too!”

Vonda sharing her story during an interview with  NBC2 Fort Myers
Vonda sharing her story during an interview with NBC2 Fort Myers

Operating Director Scot Chausse was happy that everyone was okay. “Lost a little bit of power. Lost some electronics,” he said. “But we just basically saved a life. PDQ did.”

Thanks, Vonda, for bringing a little sunshine in after the storm – we are lucky to have someone like you in our community.