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Woman saves Cleveland police officer's life with EpiPen after he's stung by bees

Posted at 8:51 PM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-25 12:58:55-04

CLEVELAND — The Back to School Festival on Aug. 20 could have turned into a tragedy for Cleveland Police Sgt. Ray O’Connor after he was stung by bees if not for the lifesaving actions of resident Tomika Johnson.

O’Connor and his partner, officer Barnes, attended the festival hosted by Ward 5 Councilman Richard Starr to interact with children from the neighborhood, according to police.

O’Connor was playing football with a few kids when he was stung and notified his partner that he was deathly allergic to bees but left his EpiPen at the station. Barnes began to render aid and Johnson ran home to get her son’s EpiPen.

Once Johnson was back with the EpiPen, Barnes quickly administered the medication to her now unconscious partner. O'Connor was then transported to St. Vincent Hospital, where he was provided medical attention.

Doctors shared with Barnes that Johnson’s fast response and the urgency shown by all involved saved O’Connor’s life, police said.

The officers met Johnson and her family Wednesday to thank them for going above and beyond. Before their meeting, Barnes learned Johnson’s son, Zaire, just turned 10.

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Sgt. Ray O'Connor says thank you to Tomika Johnson and her family.

O'Connor and Barnes came to the meeting bearing birthday gifts and $100 gift card for the family to show their gratitude.

Johnson and Zaire will be recipients of the "Citizen Award" at the City of Cleveland’s Fourth District Awards Ceremony on Oct. 6 for the extraordinary actions they demonstrated on Aug. 20, according to police.

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