HIDALGO, Texas – CBP Officer Julio Trujillo and Security Officer Criserio “Cris” Gonzalez Jr. recently became unsung heroes at the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry due to their quick, unselfish and humanitarian actions that helped save the life of a traveler at the Hidalgo International Bridge pedestrian walkway. By having performed CPR on 52-year-old William David Wagner, a United States citizen from Harlingen, Texas, Mr. Wagner is alive and in stable condition at a local hospital in McAllen, Texas.
“I commend and am extremely proud of our CBP officer and the security officer who acted with the utmost of courage and human compassion in this lifesaving incident,” said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “This act of humanity arose from natural instincts and their training in CPR, which proved to be the difference in this person’s destiny.”
The heroic feat occurred on April 7, when Mr. Wagner arrived from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico after having gone there to visit his wife and children. Upon his return through the pedestrian lanes, he began having convulsions and eventually collapsed. Through the chaos that evolved from other travelers yelling out for assistance, CBPO Julio Trujillo and Security Officer Cris Gonzalez, both CPR certified, took immediate action and offered assistance to Mr. Wagner by moving his tongue to avoid choking, sitting him up and making sure he was coherent and stabilized. Within minutes, the two officers noticed that Mr. Wagner was unable to breathe and could not detect a heartbeat.
They immediately took control of the situation by performing CPR; CBPO Trujillo performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and Security Officer Gonzalez initiated chest compressions. Having notified emergency medical technicians (EMT's) immediately after Mr. Wagner first collapsed, the two officers continued with CPR until the EMT's arrived and took control of the situation.
The medics immediately engaged, placing Mr. Wagner on oxygen and continued CPR while transporting him to a local hospital. All throughout the ambulance ride the patient appeared to be unresponsive and unconscious. The medics thanked the two officers for their unsolicited actions, which they said very well could have made the difference between life and death for the traveler.
CBPO Trujillo took it upon himself to visit Mr. Wagner at the hospital two days later, and at that time he was responsive and coherent. Mr. Wagner and his sister, Peggy Wagner, who was there with the patient, thanked CBPO Trujillo for his heroic actions and they also mentioned that Mr. Wagner would undergo open-heart surgery within a couple of days.
Mr. Wagner had nothing but praise for the officer’s actions, stating, “These guys went above and beyond and acted with the greatest of human compassion. They saved my life.” He underwent successful quintuple bypass open-heart surgery on Friday and is currently in recovery and expects to be released soon.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.