Grants Pass high school student saves woman’s life with CPR

GRANTS PASS, Ore.– A Grants Pass High School sophomore is being honored after saving a life.

“They were almost in tears, they were so happy that I saved her,” Michael Holt said.

Holt had been taking a CPR course at Grants Pass High School for about a week, but had no idea he would need to use what he learned so soon.

“No one in there knew CPR,” Holt said.

He was working at the Taprock Grill in Grants Pass, when a woman started choking.

Holt said, “I was like ‘alright, I’m just going to take control of the situation.”

He said he gave the woman chest compressions for three to five minutes before EMS got there.

Holt said, “everyone around me was all freaking out and screaming. I stayed as calm as possible. I wasn’t really freaking out, I felt pretty relaxed during the situation.”

Grants Pass Fire said without his quick thinking, the woman may not have survived.

Battalion Chief Wayne Nelson said, “it’s not very often that we see an amazing result like this and especially for a young kid that just learned CPR, just learned first aid to step out of his comfort zone to go and look out for others first and do something like this.”

Grants Pass Fire Rescue said only 10% of people who go into cardiac arrest survive.

Nelson said the chance of survival decreases by 10% every minute that CPR isn’t started, making Holt’s quick actions even more valuable.

“I would definitely not have been able to do it if I didn’t just do it,” Holt said, “if I had a year from now from when I had done this I would not have been able to remember that. But it was so fresh it was just like it came naturally to me.”

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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