EXCLUSIVE: Woman on the brink of death saved by deputies and flight attendant

Jessica Willey Image
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Woman on the brink of death saved by deputies and flight attendant
Woman on the brink of death saved by deputies and flight attendant

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Strangers came together in downtown Houston to help save a woman who had a medical emergency behind the wheel. A deputy vehicle's dash camera video captured the dramatic rescue.

It was Monday afternoon when Harris County Precinct 1 deputy constable Jeff Bartee was flagged down for what appeared to be a minor accident in the 500 block of Fannin.

Inside the vehicle was 27-year-old Ebony Ivory. The doors were locked and she wasn't responding. Officers had to break a window to get her out. Soon, a half-dozen deputies were there and it didn't seem promising.

"She was cold and blue in the face," Deputy Eric Guerrero said.

"When we pulled up, she literally had already passed away," added Thandie Duval, a United Airlines flight attendant who was the first to pull over. "Every year, we get re-certified and it's not just in coffee and tea," she said with a wink.

Duval's training kicked in. With her leading the way, she and the officers took turns performing CPR.

"I relieved her and I had another deputy relieve me and we just kept going until fire/EMS got there," Deputy Jeff Bartee said.

It was a critical five minutes. Ivory had a pulse and was breathing again when she was rushed to the hospital.

Officers in many departments, including Precinct 1, are not required to perform, or to even know CPR. However, the deputies on the scene felt compelled to jump in, and it made a difference.

"It's our job. That's what we're supposed to do. Save lives, not take them," Deputy Michael Colunga said.

"It was a collective thing because you cannot do these things on your own. We were at the right place at the right time," Duval added.

Ivory's sister tells Eyewitness News she suffered cardiac arrest and remains hospitalized. Her family are extremely grateful to everyone for their quick response.