TODAY

TODAY   |  March 05, 2013

Heroic officer saves man with CPR in gas station

Shortly after Keith Haynes collapsed in his mother’s car, his frantic mom, Linda Tyler, pulled into a BP gas station near Atlanta and ran to officer Christopher Simmons asking for help. Simmons performed CPR for several minutes until paramedics arrived. NBC’s Natalie Morales reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now good news from south of atlanta where a quick-acting police officer helped a desperate mother save her son. natalie is here with that story. hey, n at.

>> that's right, savannah. having a hard time breathing when that officer helped revive him. the heroic actions captured on a surveillance camera . this was the moment when officer christopher simmons performed life-saving cpr on an unresponsive keith haynes , who, moments earlier, collapsed in his mother's car as she rushed him to the hospital. he complained to her that he couldn't breathe.

>> as i was driving, he seized. he got stiff, seized and went limp. he stopped breathing on me.

>> reporter: a frantic linda tyler pulled into this bp gas station and ran directly to the police officer off camera to the left. officer christopher simmons stopped for a cup of coffee when tyler spotted him. the officer followed tyler and her brother outside.

>> he was pretty upset. it was about her son, having some kind of medical problems. she's screaming that he wasn't breathing.

>> reporter: it was raining outside. the three carried haynes inside the store and the officer started cpr .

>> i was just walking up and down saying jesus, jesus, help him. i kept asking, is he breathing yet? is he breathing?

>> it took several minutes of cpr before officer simmons began to see signs of life .

>> after two or three minutes, i was able to get a good pulse on him.

>> soon, paramedics arrived and prepared to take haynes to the hospital. thanks to his mother's quick thinking and the officer's quick action, avenues live and breathing again.

>> it's an incredible feeling that i can't describe, to be able to help someone, to save a human life .

>> i thought i had lost my son. i really did. thank god for that officer. i thank him so much, from the bottom of my heart, for helping me. i really do. i really do.

>> and linda tyler says her son is now out of intensive care and doing better. his doctors believe he was suffering from an asthma attack and officer simmons will be awarded with his department's life-saving award. thank goodness.

>> he earned it.