WATERVILLE — Tasha York was waiting on a table at Silver Street Tavern Wednesday night when she heard someone yell for 911.

It was just before 10 p.m. New Year’s Eve and the restaurant was crowded with people laughing, talking and enjoying live music, but York, a waitress, quickly made her way through the crowd to a man who had collapsed on the dance floor and appeared to be in cardiac arrest.

“It was an instinct,” she said Friday. “This is what I plan to spend my life doing, and I didn’t even think twice about going over to him.” York, 37, of Waterville, is a nursing student who just completed her first semester of clinical work at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.

She took the man’s pulse and started CPR with the help of another Silver Street employee, Mike Marshall. That’s when they realized the man, Mark Boudreau, wasn’t breathing.

“It seemed like he was having some sort of cardiac arrest,” recalled York. “We got him to where he needed to be until emergency responders got here and could help him.”

Boudreau, 61, of Waterville, was in stable condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland on Friday, according to his family, who said they credit Marshall and York with saving his life.

Boudreau is one of 11 siblings and has more than 20 nieces and nephews. He had a heart attack about 10 years ago and carries nitroglycerin tablets, which are used to treat chest pain.

“He basically died,” said Jean Otis, his sister, who was with her brother that night. “He had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. There was nothing showing that he had any life in him at all.

“Those two people were the key people that saved my brother’s life,” she said. “They came running over and performed CPR. Usually when something like that happens, the sooner you do CPR, the better the chance is that you can bring them back.”

When emergency responders arrived around 10 p.m., Boudreau was starting to breathe and he was taken to Inland Hospital before being transferred to Maine Medical Center.

His family still isn’t sure exactly what happened medically Wednesday night, Otis said.

Andrea Shorty, Silver Street general manager, said she wasn’t surprised that Marshall, who just started working at Silver Street about a month ago and couldn’t be reached for comment on Friday, and York, who has worked there since March, were so quick to respond.

“If they hadn’t been working, I don’t know what the outcome would have been,” she said. “I couldn’t have done that. I’m very grateful for those two. I can’t say that enough. They’re both great people in the community and we feel very lucky to have them at Silver Street.”

After a brief moment of silence for Boudreau after he was taken to the hospital, the New Year’s Eve celebration continued at the restaurant.

York said she finished her shift around 2 a.m. and hadn’t given a second thought to what happened. But by Friday, dozens of people had made a point of thanking her, including Boudreau’s family, both in person and on social media.

“I feel like I don’t need to be thanked. It was just my instinct,” York said. “I think there are a lot of people who have the ability to give CPR but it’s scary. It’s a scary situation and I think a lot of people are hesitant. I didn’t think twice.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.