Emily Spell heard the screams from outside her parents’ red brick home.
She found her brother, Joseph Williams, 31, splayed on a mattress in the basement. His eyes, half open, were yellow. His lips were blue.
“Joe, wake up! Joe, wake up!” his wife, Kristina, hollered, while pounding on his chest.
Spell, a nursing student, started CPR. Joe’s mother, who’d raced home from work at the Piggly Wiggly grocery in Garland, North Carolina, tore into the room.
“It’s OK, baby, you can go ahead and sleep,” Susan Williams said. “Do you want a cigarette? Are you cold?”
“I thought my mama had lost her mind,” Emily remembers. “Of course he was cold. Because he was dead.”