When Ivory Clark went to work on a Friday in May, he expected a routine day at the job. A pool technician for Dallas Park and Recreation, Clark had no idea that he would carry out an act of heroism. However, around 11:30 a.m., he found himself performing CPR, saving the life of a woman he had never seen before.
The incident occurred outside Tommie Allen Recreation Center in Oak Cliff. A woman in her 40s, abruptly became ill and approached Clark as he was pulling his city-issued vehicle into the parking lot.
“When I pulled up, she came up to me,” said Clark. “She said, ‘I think I’m having a heart attack. After that, she passed out.’”
Acting quickly, decisively and wisely, Clark chose to lift the woman from the ground and place her in a shaded area. He said he knew “it was not safe for her to lie on the hot concrete in the sun’s direct light.”
After Clark placed her in a safe area, he started performing CPR while calling 911. With his cellphone on “speaker” setting, he spoke to an emergency operator who instructed him to continue CPR until paramedics arrived.
Within minutes, the woman became conscious for a few moments then lapsed back into a comatose state. Clark restarted chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth treatments until paramedics could take over and start other emergency procedures. After several more minutes, the paramedics were able to revive her and then transported her to an area hospital.
As she was being lifted into the ambulance, she thanked Clark. Though her name today is still unknown to Clark, he said, “She told me, ‘Thank you so much. You’re my angel.’ I then told her, I didn’t do anything special. God placed me in this position.”
Until that day, Clark said it was his first time to perform CPR on someone and explained that he knew exactly what to do as a result of ongoing safety workshops and classes he receives. “The City of Dallas has been good to me,” he said.
Park and Recreation Facilities Services Manager James Page expressed his pride in Clark and his relief in knowing the woman survived and was released from the hospital.
“I am very proud. Ivory is a good, dedicated employee,” Page said. “What he did was life changing, not just for him, but for all those around him. It was life changing for all of us. We’re very proud of him, and we are very thankful that the woman he assisted is doing well.”
The Dallas Park and Recreation Board recognized Clark’s act of valor at its June 22 meeting at City Hall.