LSU professor credits students for saving his life after suffering a heart attack while swimming


An LSU Professor had the roles reversed when he found himself depending on students as he went into cardiac arrest. Math professor Dr. James Oxley was swimming laps on campus on July 5th when he slipped under the water and eight students jumped into action to save his life. Oxley says his cardiologist told him it was the students’ training that made the difference.

“Repeatedly said these students are the heroes of this whole situation and they really are, they saved my career and my life and what can I say I’m eternally grateful to them,” said Oxley.

His doctors say the 66-years-old did not suffer any heart or brain damage. He was out of the hospital two days after his near-death experience.

Isabella Alvarez, a senior from New Orleans was a lifeguard on duty that day and used a radio to call for EMS. She said it was a code red situation.

“In situations like this we are so glad, we have those tools in our toolbox because we saved somebody’s life and somebody that does something amazing for our community and LSU,” said Alvarez.

Katie Estes a junior from Memphis, who is studying childhood education, got to Oxley first and tried to quickly resuscitate him.

“I definitely learned that I’m apart of something much larger than myself by having CPR and in any moment I can into what I’ve been training for,” said Estes.

Oxley and the students say the experience has bonded them for life.

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