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Hicks receives award for life-saving effort


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Rep. Ron Hicks, R-St. Peters, has awards up in his office. He’s proud of the Child Advocacy Award he received last year for his part in the passage of Jonathan’s Law.

“It was the only clean bill out of the House and the Senate,” Hicks said.

Rep. Ron Hicks poses with the Lutz family, including Lauren to his right, whose life he saved three weeks ago.
Rep. Ron Hicks poses with the Lutz family, including Lauren to his right, whose life he helped save three weeks ago.

However, nothing compares to the award Hicks received Thursday – The American Heart Associations Heart Saver Award. That plaque will remind Hicks of one of the most glorious sounds he has ever heard – a young woman sucking life back into her body.

“When she came to, the feeling was overwhelming,” Hicks said.

Three weeks ago to the day, Lauren and Burl Lutz were setting up for a mid-day meal in the capitol rotunda. Burl owns Lutz Barbecue, which is a regular capitol caterer. During a 15-minute lull, Lauren, 24, took a sip of lemonade and reflected that it was especially stout. Seconds later, she suffered a seizure. Burl helped lower her to the ground when her lips turned blue and she stopped breathing.

“I was panicking like Hell,” Burl Lutz said.

Hicks happened to meeting someone in the Rotunda at the moment with Bruce Holt. They saw a crowd of people and heard commotion. Hicks and Holt rushed over to see Burl law Lauren on the ground. Hicks called 9-1-1 but saw that Lauren had turned purple.

“We’re going to have to do CPR,” Hicks yelled out.

At this point, Burl was struggling to keep it together as his daughter’s life hung in the balance. Hicks said Burl is the real hero. With Hicks encouragement, he started giving Lauren mouth-to-mouth necessitation. Hicks started doing chest compressions. Holt held up a tablecloth in case they had to remove articles of Lauren’s clothing to complete CPR.

“It was a total team effort,” Hicks said.

Hicks had not performed CPR in about 15 years, when he assisted, but he had just gone through a training session with the Wentzville Fire Department. He vividly remembered the advice of the instructor to press hard on the compressions.

“Make the rib cage flex,” Hicks recalled. “Don’t be afraid to break a rib.”

With a few breathes from Burl, Lauren took in a deep breath of air like she was exiting from a pool of water.

“He gave his daughter life twice,” Hicks said.

Lauren remembers remarking on the lemonade and waking up in on a gurney surrounded by emergency personnel. She said she had never had a seizure before.

Along with being a part of the award reception, the Lutz family was also introduced on the House floor on Thursday.