Student Wakes From Coma & Finds Out Stranger Saved His Life in Gas Station Parking Lot


There is a nine percent chance that a person in the state of Oklahoma not in a hospital will receive CPR if needed. For the McDaniel family, that’s not a mere statistic.

It’s proof for the family that Cooper McDaniel’s survival is a miracle. McDaniel, a college student, stopped at a 7-Eleven in Norman, Oklahoma, on a Friday evening.

He was going home for the weekend. It was 6:36 p.m. when McDaniel got cash at the convenience store.

A stranger named Leslie Hammons, who would later be described as his guardian angel, was driving to the same gas station.

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It was 6:39 p.m. when she ended a phone conversation as she pulled up to the 7-Eleven.

McDaniel went into cardiac arrest in the gas station parking lot. Hammons noticed the college student slouched in his car with the door slightly open.

The Cooper McDaniel Update Page on Facebook explained how Hammons felt God was saying, “This is someone’s child. His mom would be so worried about him.”

After tapping on the window with no response, two men helped her pull out McDaniel. The company for which Hammons works certifies all employees in CPR.

After noting the young man had no pulse and was not breathing, she began CPR. EMSA arrived quickly and used paddles to start McDaniel’s heart.

He was taken to a CVICU unit and later placed in a medical coma. His parents found themselves having the unimaginable conversation about possible organ donation.

Miraculously, McDaniel woke up from his coma and even walked out of bed.

About one week after being put in a coma, he walked into the front door of his house with the assistance of a walker.

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The family has turned to God and Hammons in gratitude for McDaniel’s amazing survival and recovery.

“She will be always be lifted up as a prayer of thanks for Cooper’s day-to-day accomplishment/recovery as well as the major milestones like college graduation, marriage, children,” McDaniel’s mother, Kim McDaniel, wrote on Facebook.

Fortunately, McDaniel was part of the nine percent of people needing CPR in Oklahoma who actually received it when not in a hospital, but his family would like to see that percentage increase.

They have now urged the public to get certified in CPR or renew certification.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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