Saving a Stranger's Life

Aug 9, 2018

Seven Iowans were honored with the Governor’s Lifesaving Award at the Iowa State Fair Thursday.

Arturo Melendez from Marion saved a woman who was having a heart attack while driving on a highway near Cedar Rapids the day after Christmas.  Melendez saw a stopped car during morning rush hour traffic. When he pulled over to see what was happening, he noticed the driver’s eyes were closed.


“Her face started turning purple and then I tried to open the doors,” says Melendez. “I break the window and then I take her out, check her for pulse... nothing. Then I started doing compressions into her chest.”


He didn’t know how to perform CPR, but emulated what he had seen on television shows.  The woman he saved, Vicki Witte, says he's her hero and she would not have lived if he hadn’t stopped to help.

“To this day I’m grateful and I’m thankful and I wish him everything good comes his way cause he deserves it. He saved my life, literally. Saved my life,” says Witte.