A former inmate got a chance to say thank you to the deputies and nurses that helped save her life after her heart stopped in her cell.
On Sept. 5, 2016 Christina Livingston fell to the floor of her cell at Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee.
"She had no pulse," recalled San Diego County Sheriff (SDSO) Deputy Janelle Joseif. "She wasn't breathing, she was colorless and pretty cold."
Three Sheriff’s deputies and two nurses quickly came to her aid, giving her CPR continuously for 15 minutes until an ambulance arrived.
Livingston later discovered she had an undiagnosed abnormal heart rhythm which caused her heart to abruptly stop.
Doctors told Christina that with her condition, she would not have survived with anything less than ten minutes of CPR.
Livingston and her mother, Jane Evans, were so grateful to Deputies Janelle Joseif and Monika Pamerin, Corporal Lauren Gillis, and nurses Anabelle Jensen and Joan Thomas that they requested a meeting with them so that they could thank them in person.
"Thanks for saving my life and for acting so fast," Livingston said. "If they hadn't, I wouldn't be here."
As Livingston and her mother met the people who helped bring her back to life, they shared hugs and tears and reflected on what happened.
Livingston's mother said she felt so thankful that the deputies were able to come and save her daughter, and said the entire family sends their love.
"She's my only daughter and I don't know what would have happened if she (the deputy) wasn't here," she said.
Livingston gave all the deputies and nurses key chains with a puzzle piece that read "piece of my heart" to thank them for their kindness and help.
"You truly are a piece of my heart," she said as she hugged the deputies.
Deputy Monika Palmerin said there was never any question in her mind that she should keep performing CPR as she waited for emergency personnel.
"To me, it's a true miracle," said Palmerin. "When I saw Christina, she was dead, she was dead under my arms. So this is the first time I see her alive, talking to me. It's a true miracle."
Since learning of her condition, Livingston has a defibrillator, much like a peacemaker.
Much like that defibrillator, Livingston says she will keep these deputies close to her heart for the rest of her life.