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North Fork staff save critically injured inmate

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

SAYRE, Okla. -- Sgt. Christopher Chapa is a certified CPR trainer at North Fork Correctional Center. He was here, teaching a class when a real life emergency call came over the radio. Chapa said, “It’s like God had me here for a purpose. I honestly believe that.” 

An inmate had been stabbed repeatedly. “The shank had to be a foot and a half long. They poked him just right. And it punctured his heart I believe," Chapa said. 

The victim was discovered lifeless and alone inside his prison cell. A team of medical staff and officers raced to the unit, suppressed the bleeding and performed CPR. Lisa Hall is a registered nurse at North Fork. She said, “It’s crazy. In a cell you have no equipment. In an ER have all the equipment you could ever need. The difference is we had no equipment. We were in the cell. Not even in medical yet."  

These North Fork employees were persistent, working an exhausting thirty minutes on the victim while waiting on paramedics to arrive. LT. Thomas Eslinger said, “I don’t give up on anybody. I don’t care of the condition or nature of the incident. As long as I have an opportunity to give a hand that’s all I’m going to do.” 

The inmate finally began breathing – and was flown to Oklahoma City for surgery. NFCC Medical Aide Misty Gilreath said, “He’s lucky to be here. God was watching over him for sure.” 

Don’t call these north fork employees heroes. According to medical unit employee Kelsey Ramirez, “It’s kind of our job. It’s what we have a passion for.” 

Miraculously, the young man who’d been stabbed in the heart, has a second chance – thanks to this team who refused to surrender. According to Lisa Hall, “Obviously the miracle part goes to God or whoever you consider your higher power. We were just the vehicles.” 

It is their job is to protect people – even those who’ve made regrettable mistakes. 

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