Police Officer saves Woman with CPR

In Rescues by Paul Martin6 Comments

At 2:30 in the morning, 72-year-old grandmother Sonja Hutchison decided to wake up her daughter, Billee Foster.  “I had just woke up, and I hurt so bad,” said Hutchison.  A quick online search revealed that her mother had classic symptoms of a heart attack.  “I said, ‘I think I’m going to call 911’, and she said, ‘Why?’ and I said ‘I think you’re having a heart attack,'” said Foster.

Police Officer Josh Dreher arrived in less than two minutes, and was standing next to Hutchison when her heart stopped. “She died right in front of me,” said Dreher.

But Dreher is also a certified EMT and a CPR instructor for the American Heart Association.  “If you can start CPR within 5 minutes of cardiac arrest, your chances of survival increase significantly,” he said.

He performed chest compression on Hutchison until firefighters arrived, and together, they brought her back to life.

Monday, for the first time since that night, she met the man who saved her life. “I am so glad to know you!” she said to Dreher. “I’m glad you’re with us today,” he replied with a big smile. “Thanks to you, sir. Thanks to you,” she said, hugging him.  Hutchison called him her 7-foot guardian angel, but he assured her he is only six-foot-four and he was just doing his job. Still, he says seeing her alive is his greatest reward.

“It’s really emotional for me,” Dreher said. “It’s very comforting that what we do actually is effective in saving people’s lives.”

“Without him, I wouldn’t be here,” Hutchison said. “I wouldn’t get to be grandma. I wouldn’t still be mom. He saved me.”

Hutchison will be released tomorrow from North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley. Dreher said Hutchison’s family did the right thing by immediately calling 911.

“Heart disease is the #1 killer of women,” said Dreher.


Paul Martin

Paul Martin

I am the Director of Multimedia at ProTrainings, as well as the primary blogger here. I take care of the video editing, graphic design and corporate branding that you see on every video and every page on this site, as well as at ProCPR®, ProFirstAid®, ProBloodborne, StudentCPR, etc. My work is literally everywhere that ProTrainings goes. I also handle our Twitter accounts, so be sure to follow us there, if you use twitter! You can be sure that I’m not just an average joe writing this blog, but one of the founders of the company.

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  1. Denny

    As an instructor, too often I feel like people are just going through the motions with CPR.

    This is why it’s so important to pay attention. You never know if it will save a loved one’s life.

  2. B. Inman

    I have taken CPR classes several times over the years for recertification. I never thought I would have to use it, but paying attention paid off. When working in a doctor’s office several years ago, a patient fell to the floor right in front of me. I didn’t know what happened, but I instinctively went through the steps to assess him and called for the doctor. Fortunately, the man had just fainted, but I bet his head hurt him a day or two after hitting it on the wall on his way to the floor. It was gratifying to realize that I remembered the steps and it gave me more confidence knowing I could handle another emergency situation in the future.

    Thanks to all of you dedicated professionals out there for taking your time to teach the public BSL/CPR classes. I wish more people would take advantage of them.

  3. alyce

    I got chills when I read this. I can imagine how gratifying that must be to know, as a health professional, that you have literally saved a person’s life.

  4. Melinda Malone

    It would have been enlightening to have been informed of the symptoms the 72 yo was experiencing.

    1. Paul Martin Author
      Paul Martin

      Yes it would have. It’s a shame the original story doesn’t even have that information. Perhaps it’s because of hipaa or something.

  5. Matt

    Classic symptoms: sweating, chest pain possibly radiating to the jaw and/or left arm, shortness of breath, and anxiety. Some ppl have pain between the shoulder blades. EKG abnormalities like increased Q wave or elevated ST segment are also possible depending on the type of heart attack (infarction). Women may have less classic symptoms than men. If you have or see this, call 911, give an aspirin (not baby aspirin), take nitroglycerin tablet, and oxygen.

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