Above the Call: Off-duty youth correctional counselor tries to save man at local gym

YCC Liza Ledesma

By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor
Office of Public and Employee Communications

An evening workout at a local gym turned into a life-and-death situation for an off-duty youth correctional counselor (YCC).

Off-duty from her job at the Division of Juvenile Justice’s O.H. Close facility, YCC Liza Ledesma was taking part in a circuit course workout at the gym on June 14. That’s when she noticed a man lying on the gym floor with another person rushing to his aid to begin chest compressions.

YCC Ledesma immediately also rushed to the man’s aid and offered to take over the chest compressions and continued doing them for about 10 minutes. YCC Ledesma was offered assistance by fellow YCC Luv Dasalla who was also in the class at the time. Without regard to her own well-being, despite being exhausted and possibly overheating, YCC Ledesma believed she had a good rhythm going and did not want to risk the man’s life by losing that rhythm.

Every so often during those 10 minutes, she heard and felt the man gasp for air. This gave her hope that CPR was working and was keeping the man alive.

She continued giving chest compressions until paramedics arrived and took over the CPR. Unfortunately, despite her and the paramedics’ valiant efforts, the man did not survive.


11 Responses

  1. Valerie Estrella Thursday, August 3, 2017 / 8:57 am

    Good Job Ledesma. You’re a true hero and have a heart of gold.

  2. Denna Hornsby Monday, July 31, 2017 / 8:45 am

    Glad to hear you provided him with every opportunity for life at that time. Even with our diligence, we have to let God make the choice. Who knows what kind of debilitating condition he would have been left with if he had lived. His quality of life, if he survived, could have been very low. Still in all, you giving him CPR was a noble act on your part.
    Thank you all for your service.
    Denna Hornesby, LVN SQ

  3. k cummings Saturday, July 29, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    I testify that YOU YCC’s have THE toughest job in the STATE by working your butts off with those unpredictable youngsters! Your compassion, dedication and love for humanity shows both ON and OFF the job.

  4. Connie Garcia Wednesday, July 26, 2017 / 11:37 pm

    Mija I’m so very proud of you. It was your upbringing, training, dedication and caring for people, that made you want to help this man. No matter the outcome, you gave him your all.
    Please dear lord wrap your arms around his familia and give them the strength and courage to carry on during this difficult time in their lives. Amen

  5. Marri Brock Wednesday, July 26, 2017 / 8:35 pm

    You are awesome, Liza. I am proud to work with you every day at DJJ, you have a big heart. Your efforts will be rewarded.

  6. Rose Anchondo Wednesday, July 26, 2017 / 9:15 am

    Thanks for your help mija. So many people do not want to get involved because they are afraid of getting sued. Your help did make a difference to this person. Love you.

    • danny Sunday, August 6, 2017 / 3:02 pm

      You can’t get sued if you attempt to save a person’s life. It’s called the “good Samaritan law”. You would be protected from any adverse action against you.

  7. Sylvia Michael Wednesday, July 26, 2017 / 2:06 am

    Excellent work cuzn, couldn’t be more.proud of you!! Much Love and so blessed.
    Love you cuzn❤

  8. J. Carrillo Tuesday, July 25, 2017 / 9:46 am

    Although it is sad that the man did not survive, the actions of YCC Ledesma and others involved at least gave him a fighting chance. Should we ever find ourselves having such an emergency, may God bless us by having someone like her nearby that will do their best to help out.

  9. G.Barr,R.N/CCWF. Monday, July 24, 2017 / 9:09 am

    Bless you for your efforts.

  10. Christiana Reed Monday, July 24, 2017 / 8:40 am

    Great work, YCC Ledesma! Whatever the outcome, you should be very proud of the dedication and endurance you showed in helping that man in the gym. My hat is off to you!

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