Oklahoma yoga instructor saves dying student

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OKLAHOMA CITY – When you think of a strenuous, heart-pounding workout, yoga doesn’t usually come to mind.

But, during a recent class at Hidden Dragon in Oklahoma City, yoga instructor Ryan Tigner was faced with the unexpected.

“Having someone collapse and have a moment is not the norm,” Tigner said.

50-year old Nick Zaizar had a pre-existing heart condition and crumbled out of his Standing Warrior position.

“It was very abrupt, like a sack of potatoes hitting the ground,” Zaizar said.

His heart had stopped.

Lucky for Zaizar, the instructor was CPR and first aid certified.

“You don’t have thought. You have actions,” Tigner said.

The levelheaded instructor called 911.

The EMSA dispatcher walked Tigner through the life-saving procedure.

Dispatcher: “Just keep pumping until the paramedics take over, okay?”

Tigner: “Very nice job, 911 lady. Thank you very much.”

Hidden Dragon just happened to sit in the shadow of EMSA headquarters and St. Anthony’s Hospital.

“I was referring to it as the perfect storm, and I’m sticking to that – definitely a perfect storm,” Zaizar said.

Two weeks later, Zaizar is out of the hospital and almost fully recovered from his near death experience.

“We came over, and Nick was lying there. He didn’t have a pulse, and he wasn’t breathing. He was essentially dead, you could say,” said EMSA medic Sarah Anderson Calloway.

Alive today, thanks to an unsung hero.

Tigner deflected the hero label.

“I’m just me, just a yoga instructor.”

EMSA honored Tigner with a Citizen Hero Medal.

“This is for you Ryan. Thank you. We couldn’t have done it without you. You’re a hero.”

Training, proximity and plenty of prayer – it was an umbrella of protection in Zaizar’s “perfect storm.”

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