Two minutes without a breath, then a sign of life: Hero officer saves woman

Story highlights

  • Dashcam video shows Officer Jordan Jones performing CPR on woman
  • Her husband did not think she was going to make it
  • The family credits Jones with saving her life

About two months after saving a life, Officer Jordan Jones of the Blanchard Police Department was arrested December 29 on charges of soliciting a minor with the use of technology, receipt of child pornography and violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act. Attempts by CNN to reach Officer Jones and his lawyer brought no immediate response.

Blanchard, Oklahoma (CNN)Jeff Litty is doing quick calculations in his head. The road between their house and the hospital in Norman, Oklahoma, is long. Some of it is gravel.

Should he call 911 and wait for an ambulance, or just put his wife in his pickup truck and drive her to the hospital?
He had awakened in the middle of the night to his wife, Tina Costello, moving erratically. She was complaining of tightness in her chest.
    "She said, 'My right arm's hurting really badly.' So I said we need to go the hospital now," Litty recalled.
    As he wakes up their teenage daughter Britney, Costello gets herself dressed.
    Within five minutes, the family is on the road.
    Litty keeps Costello talking until 20 miles into the drive when she rolls off the back seat and onto the floorboard of the truck.
    "I pulled over quickly, and she was not breathing. There was no response. I checked her pulse. She had no pulse, and her face was turning purple," Litty said, his hands clinched in his lap as he recalled the fear he felt.
    "I was panicked. It is the middle of the night. The woman you love is completely unresponsive, and you are about halfway between home and the hospital."
    Litty jumps back behind the wheel. He drives this route every day on his way to work. He knows about a mile up the road there's usually a police cruiser waiting to catch anyone breaking the speed limit.

    A frantic husband finds an officer

    It's just after midnight on Halloween. Blanchard Police Officer Jordan Jones is parked along a highway when a blue pickup truck speeds past him, hazard lights flashing. "Something is going on onboard the truck," Jones recalled thinking while he was on patrol.
    "They are trying to get somewhere for some other type of family emergency." When he pulls the truck over, the driver rushes out immediately and yells, "My wife is having a heart attack!"
    Litty's plan of getting to the police officer has worked.
    "It was just one little miracle," he said.
    "When [Litty] got out of the truck, he was frantic," Jones remembered.
    The broad-shouldered 30-year-old with 10-years of experience in law enforcement goes right to work.
    "It happens really quick. You're focused on what needs to happen and keep the task at hand."
    The dashcam video from the police cruiser captures the harrowing events.
    Jones calls dispatch.
    "Hey Blanchard. 48-year-old female. Not breathing. Unconscious. Gonna try to get her out of the truck and start CPR," he says into his radio.
    "Blanchard, start first responders to my location please," Jones continues before instructing Litty to help him get Costello out of the truck and onto the ground.
    At this point, Litty says Costello hasn't taken a breath in about two minutes. He thought it might be too late.

    'I can't lose Mama'

    He sobs, "Oh sweetheart! Oh she's gone!"
    But Jones is reassuring. "No she's not," Jones says as he checks Costello's vitals. "She's got a weak pulse."
    As Jones prepares to give Costello chest compressions, he directs Litty to give her rescue breaths. Britney is kneeling by her mother's head. "I can't lose Mama, no!" she cries. Litty pleads with his wife to stay with them. "Baby, hang in there, Baby!"
    Then a sign of life. Costello takes a breath.
    Beyond the Call of Duty

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    More first responders arrive and take turns giving Costello CPR before defibrillating her and moving her to an ambulance. As the EMTs continue working on his wife, Litty watches from the bumper of the ambulance. When he steps down, he sees Jones.
    "You stick your hand out to say thank you for helping my family," he says, his voice full of emotion. "He grabs you and puts his big arm around you and he says, 'It's gonna be alright, buddy.'"
    Britney hugs Jones, too.
    Still not knowing if Costello will live, Litty and Britney follow the ambulance the rest of the way to the hospital.
    At Norman Regional HealthPlex, interventional cardiologist Dr. Jeff Crook is preparing for Costello to arrive. From the ambulance, Costello's EKG stats were sent to the hospital, so Crook is already determining what needs to be done.
    She is immediately wheeled in to the operating room, where Crook opens up the artery that's causing the heart attack.
    It was 90% blocked.

    An agonizing wait

    Crook doesn't think Costello would have lived if it hadn't been for Jones. "Basically starting the CPR when he did greatly improved her chance of survival. In fact, at least doubled if not tripled it," Crook says.
    For the next 24 hours, Costello is placed into an induced hypothermia to give her brain a chance to recover.
    The wait is agonizing for Litty and Britney. At one point, the ICU nurses persuade them to go home and freshen up.
    "The hardest time of this whole thing for me was when we walked into the house, and she's not here," Litty said. "She's the center of our lives."
    Choking up, Litty recounted their morning ritual. When he leaves for work before 5 a.m., Costello flashes the porch lights at him, and he blinks his headlights back in response.
    "All I could think of as I drove up the road when we were going back to the hospital was, 'God, don't take her yet,'" Litty said, his eyes brimming with tears. "I need to see those lights one more time."

    A full recovery

    When Costello regains consciousness, she is groggy, but fine. She's since made a full recovery and remembers everything except the night of the heart attack and all the efforts taken to save her life.
    She's quit smoking and is working on eating right and exercising more. She says when she watched the dash camera video, she just cried.
    "I just love Officer Jones. I mean he's an angel. A true angel," she said. "It's amazing to think there's people that really do care -- that know what to do when you need help ... to save your life."
    Her daughter, Britney, used another word to describe Jones.
    "He was my hero. He did everything he could," Britney said as her face crumpled into tears.
    For Jones, it still hasn't totally sunk in that he saved Costello's life.
      "It is still a little bit of unbelievable, I guess the word is," Jones said, uncomfortable with being called a hero.
      "Every night I go out to make a difference in somebody's lives, and it was just a night I won."