Lindsey State Jail Resident Takes Advantage of Every Opportunity After Being Given Second Chance at Life
“I’ll tell you something. I feel like I was given another chance at this thing we call life.”
Manuel Tapia is a resident of the Lindsay State Jail in Jacksboro, Texas. A few months ago, he had a terrifying brush with death. In the early evening, he lay down on his bunk. Around 6 p.m., an officer found Manuel unresponsive. He radioed for help and moments later Manuel was being transferred to a gurney and being attended to by Lieutenant Christopher Sloan and several other staff members.
“Lt. Sloan determined that it appeared as if the inmate wasn’t breathing,” says Warden Brian Collins. “They quickly, because of this, applied the AED, the AED prompted them to start chest compressions.”
A call went out to 911 for emergency medical services.
“We had to transport inmate Tapia to the area where 911 could get to him,” Lt. Sloan says. “So, to move him and continue compressions, I jumped on the gurney, gave compressions until we got him to that area, and me and other staff took turns giving compressions until 911 arrived.”
“Before the incident was reported, I was already talking to EMS and those EMTs, and they let me know with certainty that that inmate would have died if Lt. Sloan had not taken the action that he took,” adds Warden Collins.
“Well, it was it was a frightening thing,” explains Manuel. “You know, one moment you’re asleep, and the next moment you wake up and they’re doing compressions on you.”
It turns out that Manuel suffered a seizure brought on by a previously undiscovered condition. After a brief stay in the hospital, Manuel returned to the facility in full health. He was told of the role Lt. Sloan played in saving his life.
“I didn’t think a man like that was supposed to jump out in the line of action to help an inmate like that the way he did,” Manuel says. “And, you know, I’m very, very grateful for a person like that. You know, it was very – it was an emotional thing going on for me. My mom started praying for this man. She’s like, ‘Man, look, son, God has a plan for you. And He used this man right here to help you to keep going on for your purpose.”
“Personally, to me, you know, it is a special thing,” says Lt. Sloan. “It’s great. But this is stuff that we practice in situations all the time. We run drills. We try to make sure staff are ready and understand these situations are possible and provide the tools so that in the moment when it happens [we’re prepared]. I just happened to be there. I bet any other staff member that works here would have done the same thing.”
“You know, before I think I was taking it for granted,” Manuel states. “I didn’t feel like I was putting myself in the right direction. And now everything that’s happened, now I’m taking advantage of every opportunity that I’m given.”
“God bless you guys,” Manuel continues. “Thank you for the staff members that go out of their way to help inmates. We are not just a number. We’re people. And that day, they showed me that when a man stepped out and helped an inmate.”