Tulsa Red Cross honors ORU student with award

By Ally Powell ('13)

Montika CollinsThe Tulsa Area Chapter of the American Red Cross will award Montika Collins, an Oral Roberts University senior nursing student, with the Save-a-Life-Hero award on April 19 at the Tulsa Convention Center. The Save-a-Life-Hero award is given to honor Tulsa citizens who have performed the extraordinary deed of saving a life.

"Her story, of helping a child in desperate need made her a more-than-worthy honoree," says Donita Quesnel, senior director of communications for the Tulsa Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. "First Aid and CPR are core trainings of the Red Cross, and we are honored to recognize Montika for saving a child's life through using a skill that is so fundamental to the Red Cross."

Collins is receiving this award because she saved a four-year-old boy's life in July 2011 after he drowned in a swimming pool at an apartment complex.

"For me, it is a humbling experience," says Collins. "I don't feel like a hero."

That day, Collins took her family swimming to cool off from the summer heat. As they were leaving the pool, Collins noticed a young boy at the bottom of the pool not moving.

Collins says that because her five-year-old daughter was at the pool, Collins reacted as a mom pulling the child out of the water.

"Then I noticed he was blue and wasn't breathing," says Collins.

After checking his pulse, Collins began performing CPR on the victim while waiting for paramedics to arrive at the scene.

"He had been under (water) for at least 3-5 minutes," she says. "I did not get a response for 2-3 minutes. That's when I started praying. Then water started coming out of his mouth, color started coming back."

The young boy fully recovered from the incident. Now eight months later, the Red Cross is presenting Collins with an award she describes as humbling.

"I feel honored to be honored," Collins says.

Collins says that the incident has made her more confident knowing that she can perform on the spot. She also encourages others to take CPR training courses.

The annual Rescue Gala consists of a banquet dinner, raffle, live auction and an awards ceremony.

"It sounds like fun," Collins says. "It's not something that I would typically go and do. I am glad that my husband and I will be able to experience it together."

Collins was also awarded with an Every Day Hero award by the Tulsa Emergency Medical Services Authority in July 2011.