Emerging Leader Saves 80 Year Old Man’s Life with Cpr and Reunites

At the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Emerging Leaders’ holiday party with senior citizens from Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma’s Trinity Garden Apartments, Michelle Rodriguez-Pico’s knowledge of CPR kept 80 year old man alive just long enough for paramedics to arrive.

Hugs were exchanged on Thursday, February 25 as Rodriguez-Pico and Edwin “Duke” Nix met for the first time since that day. Duke expressed his sincere appreciation to Rodriguez-Pico for saving his life.

Rodriguez-Pico saw Duke collapse on the floor following a round of dancing. “I need to help him,” said Rodriguez-Pico.

Originally trained in CPR by American Red Cross, a United Way Partner Agency, Rodriguez-Pico immediately started performing compressions while 911 was called and the paramedics arrived.

After performing two rounds of compressions, Duke came back around and was taken to the hospital where he went through a quadruple bi-pass surgery.

According to his dancing partner Anita Phillips, if he had not attended the United Way’s holiday party, he might not have made it because he would have been in his apartment by himself that evening.

“After my daughter choked on a grape when she was a baby, I knew I had to get trained in CPR,” said Rodrigues-Pico. “You never know what can happen.”

Through Rodriguez-Pico’s employer, OG&E, she continues to takes advantage of CPR training opportunities every two years for certification renewal.

In recognition of her heroic effort to save a life, Rodriguez-Pico will be honored with the Positive Energy® Together Award from OG&E this Friday.

Duke is doing well and continues to have a great sense of humor.

To sign up for CPR classes, go to redcross.org.