Inmates Credited With Saving Folsom Prison Guard Who Suffered Heart Attack
October 15, 2021
By Laura Haefeli
A Folsom State Prison guard credits four inmates for saving his life after he suffered a heart attack.
One of the inmates had a background in medicine.
Only 14 inmates work for California Prison Inmate Authority’s braille program.
“I love working here,” said inmate Robbie Lee Williams.
The tight-knit crew works side by side on dictionaries, math, science, and reading books for the blind.
“Which requires a lot of attention, a lot of studying, so we just got closer and closer,” said inmate Jeffrey Thomas.
They are inmates turned family, but since June, they’ve been down one member after their supervisor and prison staff member Jeff Snoozy collapsed inside his office and nearly died.
“I felt chest pain that was very intense,” Snoozy said.
Duane Lewis, Jeffrey Thomas, Lyale Shellman, and Robbie Williams weren’t going to let that happen.
“I hear him call for help. I turn, I get up and it’s only a few steps to his office,” Williams said. “When I get here, I see that he’s on the ground.”
Luckily Williams, incarcerated since 2017, had 30 years of medical experience as a paramedic and nursing assistant.
Snoozy had no idea Williams’ past life was about to save his.
“I check his pupils, his pupils are dilated,” Williams said. “He was really diaphoretic, so I tried to keep him cool.”
While the others ran for help, Snoozy was rushed into an 11-hour surgery at UC Davis and survived.
“If these guys had not rushed to help me like they did, I don’t know if we’d be sitting here talking today,” Snoozy said.
The group has a message for their supervisor.
“We miss you. You inspired a lot of us,” Shellman said.
“Jeff, we’re just glad you’re doing really well,” Thomas said.
“Jeff, thanks for everything. We miss you,” Lewis said.
Snoozy got emotional hearing those messages.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much. At the same time, I knew I can count on you guys,” Snoozy said.
Snoozy said he may retire, but looks forward to returning thanking those workers face to face.