Oklahoma Man Honored For Saving Woman's Life With CPR

Friday, February 7th 2014, 8:05 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma woman, who says she was perfectly healthy, had a heart attack while walking on the treadmill. Doctors say it was the quick actions of a nearby trainer who saved her life.

Kim Steele of Prague says prior to her heart attack in September, she had no idea anything was wrong. Her blood pressure and cholesterol were fine, though she does have a family history of heart problems. One quick trip to the gym nearly turned deadly.

It could happen to anyone; a normal day at the gym gone bad.

"I was on the treadmill the day I had my heart attack, walking and minding my own business," said Steele, who was 49-years-old at the time. "The security camera happened to be pointed at the door, so it caught everything on tape."

Steele passed out on the gym floor, and personal trainer Travis Burdine came to her rescue moments later, giving her CPR.

"The doctors said that if it had been a minute longer that my heart wasn't working and getting oxygen to my brain, I at best, would've been dead," Steele said.

Because of his quick, life-saving action, Travis was honored at the A.K.A. Art Gallery in the Paseo Art District in Oklahoma City, a part of "Wear Red for Women" fighting heart disease campaign. Travis says he still doesn't see himself as a hero, just someone who knew what to do and acted on instinct.

"It's an honor to actually save someone, but as I said on there, it was a team effort, from where I started, to everybody in the gym, the doctors, to the nurses," he said.

"I don't like for anybody to pass away on my clock. I'm going to work until I can't work anymore. So it's just one of those things where you keep going until the ambulance shows up."

But to Kim's husband, Chris Steele, what Travis did at a time when his wife was unconscious, means everything.

"I'm very glad for Travis to see this, nobody deserves it more," Steele said. "Also want to thank Sarah Sneed. She was the other half of the CPR team. Their composure in knowing what to do when the chips are down was amazing."

Travis says he first learned how to do CPR as a lifeguard for the YMCA in Prague in 1997. This was the third time he has used it to save someone's life.

The Oklahoma Heart Hospital gives out the Oklahoma Heart Hero award each year to someone who they say has the training and courage to use CPR in an emergency.