New Gonzaga graduates use nursing skills to save woman's life



Posted on May 10, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Updated Saturday, May 10 at 5:05 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.—Gonzaga University students saved the life of a 73-year-old woman on Friday night.

The three students graduated from Gonzaga on Saturday with a Master’s degree of Science in Nursing.

The students were in the right place at the right time when Thelma Lozier started choking on pizza in her hotel room at the Ramada Airport Hotel. The three students had 25 years of nursing experience together and put their skills to work.

‘”They said my lips were turning blue and they started to collapse,” said Thelma Lozier. "I thought I was going to die because I just couldn't breathe."

Thelma Lozier made the trip from Pendleton, Oregon to see her daughter-in-law graduate. She said her son flagged down his wife, Deena Lozier, to help when he could not get the food out. Deena Lozier was a nurse practitioner and student at Gonzaga University. She began the Heimlich maneuver on her mother-in-law.

“You could tell she was in more distress because her color was changing,” said Deena Lozier.

Deena Lozier’s classmates were nearby and jumped in to help.

"Our nursing kicked in and we started working as a team. She was thrusting and I was holding her forward. We were all feeling panicked,” said student Michelle McIntyre.

The three were eventually able to clear Thelma Lozier’s airway.

"That's all it takes to lose someone so it was enough,” said student Tricia Robertson.

Thelma Lozier said she would be forever grateful for the students’ quick actions.

"Just so grateful. I feel so blessed,” said Thelma Lozier.

Thelma Lozier was recovering Saturday from a couple of broken ribs.