Officers save a 60-year-old woman who collapsed at O’Hare

‘It made me a believer. ... I just never thought we were going to use it,’ Chicago Police Officer Reginald Malone said of the CPR and AED training.

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Chicago Police Officers Eddie Reed (from left) and Reginald Malone with Aviation security officer Kahari Velez saved a woman’s life when she collapsed July 5, 2019, at O’Hare Airport

Chicago Police Officers Eddie Reed (from left) and Reginald Malone with Aviation security officer Kahari Velez saved a woman’s life when she collapsed July 5, 2019, at O’Hare Airport after she went into cardiac arrest.

Syd Stone/Sun-Times

A 60-year-old woman had just gotten off of her flight at O’Hare Airport last week when she collapsed.

Aviation security officer Kahari Velez was patrolling Terminal 2 about 11:30 a.m. July 5 when he found the woman on the floor near Gate F1. He checked her pulse, nothing. She’d stopped breathing, too.

Velez and Chicago Police Officer Eddie Reed started giving her CPR. Meanwhile, police officer Reginald Malone used an automated external defibrillator to restart the woman’s heart.

Paramedics took the woman to a nearby hospital, where she remains in intensive care, Reed said.

“It made me a believer,” Malone said. “It was kind of an out-of-body experience for me. It was surreal. With the training that they give us, I just never thought we were going to use it.”

CPR and AED training is part of the Chicago HeartSafe Program. Since its inception in 1999, officers have made 128 saves at O’Hare and Midway. There are 124 AEDs at O’Hare and 40 at Midway, training coordinator Ellen Demertsidis said.

Demertsidis said employees at O’Hare and Midway are given training to prepare them for this sort of situation.

Reed said all he could think about when he was performing CPR: “Not on my watch.”

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