CPR Skills Help Save Father’s Life

It's a life-saving skill no one really wants to have to use. But for a former Oklahoma Baptist University student, the skills he learned during a campus CPR class helped save his father's life.

Cameron Ray participated in a CPR class last spring while attending OBU. Ray said he took the class for fun and also thought the skills may be useful some day. That day came earlier than Ray expected.

On Jan. 1, the training Ray received in CPR became crucial after his mother, Elizabeth Ray, found his father, Mel, unresponsive, lying face down on the ground.

"At first, I was kind of freaked out, but I knew that he wasn't breathing, and I knew I had to act," Ray said.

Ray remembered his CPR training and began giving rescue breaths to his father. He also recalled an important step and instructed his mother to call 911.

Ray performed rescue breaths on his father for about 20 seconds until his father began breathing again. He stayed with his father until paramedics arrived. Ray's father was later diagnosed with diabetes, and doctors determined he stopped breathing because of complications with diabetes and emphysema. Ray, a native of Duncanville, Texas, who is now a student at the University of Texas-Arlington, reported his father is doing better.

In the midst of the crisis, Ray said remembering the steps for CPR was easy thanks to the teaching methods of his professor, Dr. Bill Buchanan, OBU associate professor of church recreation.

"I credit that to Dr. Buchanan for repeating the steps numerous times every class," Ray said. "It really did help," he said.

Buchanan has been teaching CPR courses for 26 years and teaches the course for OBU students twice a semester. Students receive one credit hour for the class, which is taught according to the guidelines set by the American Red Cross.

Buchanan said Ray's experience is a great reminder why people should keep their CPR certification current.