Durham officer performs CPR, saving woman who was in cardiac arrest

Dione Cofield (left) and Officer Franciso DeVera. Photo by Derrick Lewis/WNCN

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A woman is thanking a Durham police officer for saving her life.

The perfect timing of the two lives coming together brought the soon-to-be bride back to life after going into cardiac arrest.

“I feel that you are a diamond in the rough,” Dione Cofield said, reading a thank you letter.

That letter and hug meant more than life.

Dione was in a hospital bed this summer, recovering from a cardiac arrest.

“I don’t have any recollection of anything from that day,” she said.

But Dione’s sister, Stephanie Booth, does.

“I’ve never seen anything like that up close and personal,” said Stephanie. “My sister was dead.”

She told Dione everything that happened.

Shortly after returning home from a trip out, Dione went into cardiac arrest, unexpectedly.

“Dione was in the passenger seat of the car, her eyes were open and bulged, her tongue was hanging out of her mouth with saliva,” said Stephanie. “She was lifeless.”

Stephanie did everything she could, including calling police.

But for some reason she couldn’t get through.

“While I proceeded to dial again, a police officer just happens to be rolling down the street,” said Stephanie.

It was Officer Franciso DeVera, who was patrolling the area.

He immediately performed CPR.

“I was actually scared that night,” said Officer DeVera. “I’ve never done CPR before. We train for CPR when you get hired here. I’ve trained for CPR in the military but I’ve never used it before. It’s one of those things where you train, and you train, and you train, and you don’t know when you’re going to have to use it.”

Dione, who was getting married just five days after the incident, says if it wasn’t for Officer DeVera, she wouldn’t be here today.

“I mean, there’s really no words to explain how I feel,” said Dione. “I’m just very thankful.”

But don’t call Officer DeVera a hero.

“I was just doing my job,” he said.

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