Hero honored for saving teacher's life

November 11, 2008 4:57:02 PM PST
Former Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Ervin was honored by St. Paul's School in Burlington with a 21 pom-pom salute.He was being recognized for saving the life of their beloved 8th grade teacher Pat Light.

Back in September, she had a sudden heart attack at an area mall. Ervin heard the screams of Light's frantic granddaughter Emily and performed CPR until EMTs arrived.

"My first compression I heard a pop, and as I found out later that was your rib," Ervin told Light during Tuesday's ceremony. "I apologize for that."

"That's okay." Light told him.

Now recovering, Light doesn't remember Mark Ervin or anything about the day she had her heart attack.

But she told over 500 students and teachers she's grateful.

"I don't know how to say thank you to someone for saving my life. I do know if he hadn't stepped forward, they tell me, without the 12 minutes of CPR you so willingly gave, that I probably would not have made it," Light said.

Just days after saving Light's life Ervin retired from the military. School officials thought Veteran's Day was the perfect time to say thank you.

"I don't feel like a hero. It's doing what needs to be done, and I encourage everyone, especially those sitting on the sidelines, to get out there and get involved," Ervin said.

Mark Ervin, who now runs a high school ROTC program, was given a spiritual bouquet by the students. That's the promise of thousands of prayers for him. He was also presented with the school's Mercy Peace Medal, and was serenaded by the choir.

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