Utah Woman Saves Man’s Life With Naloxone Kit
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The opioid crisis took center stage in Salt Lake County as leaders recognized a woman whose quick actions with a naloxone kit saved a man’s life last month.
“It’s important to carry it,” said Tiffani King, speaking of the naloxone kit. “And also, it’s important to care enough to stop and use it if you have to.”
She would know. King used to be a homeless drug addict, often spending time on the streets near the Salt Lake County Building on South State Street and Westminster in Salt Lake City.
“I definitely could have died out here. Many a time,” she said. Which is one reason why ever since she became sober eight years ago, King has intentionally tried to avoid coming to this area.
“That’s why I try not to come down here because I can’t look away,” she said. “It’s like a bad accident.”
It’s not an area she likes to be in. But on Jan. 24, it was exactly the place she needed to be.
“I saw the gentleman on the ground, and I was like, ‘oh my gosh I got to call you back,'” King said. “This man is dying. He’s overdosing.’”
King didn’t hesitate. She’d seen it before, and she was prepared.
“When I got to him, he was turning blue,” she said.
After checking on the situation, King ran back to her car and grabbed her naloxone kit that sits right next to her in the center console. She bolted back to the man, quickly looked at the instructions included in the kit and injected the naloxone in his thigh.
“Yeah I was terrified,” King said. “My adrenaline was pumping.”
And King wasn’t the only person to stop and help.
“The man was, I believe, gone. And her quick thinking. Her willingness to act. Her action led to a life saved today,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, who also rushed to the scene and called 911. “Honestly this woman is a hero,” Wilson said in a video she posted online after the incident.
On Tuesday the county council recognized King for her quick work and the lifesaving ability of the naloxone kit. They also handed out kits to the county council.
“Their life and their breath is most important,” King said, speaking of the addicts on the street who need treatment.
Eight years after becoming sober, King now works as a social worker, helping others get out of the same place she once was and never hopes to return to.
“I can’t really help anybody out here. These are grown adults,” King said. “But I would like to make a difference. I would still like to make a difference.”
Naloxone kits are available for free at all Salt Lake County libraries.
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