Kona nurse lauded for life-saving actions at Chicago’s O’Hare airport

Jill Okumura (Photo: Kona Community Hospital)

A nurse’s work is never done, even while on vacation.

Jill Okumura is an emergency department nurse at Kona Community Hospital.

On May 20, she was waiting to board a flight from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on her way back to Kona when the passenger behind her collapsed.

Without hesitation, she sprang into action. When she could not find his pulse, she began CPR and asked her husband to bring her an Automated External Defibrillator.

After four minutes of chest compressions and one shock from the AED, the man’s pulse returned and he regained responsiveness. Okumura remained by his side until the Chicago Fire Department arrived and took him to the hospital.

Representatives with the Chicago Heartsave Program commended Okumura in a letter that read in part: “She represented the nursing and medical field in the most positive light. She demonstrated what being a nurse is all about… She gave this gentleman his best and only chance of surviving.”

As far as Okumura is concerned, she simply responded by using her training and skills.

“I guess I was in the right place at the right time,” she said.

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