Nearly a month and a half after her on-campus collapse, UTEP President Dr. Diana Natalicio released information Tuesday afternoon regarding the incident and her recovery.
In a memo addressed to the university’s staff, students, alumni and friend titled “The Beat Goes On,” Dr. Natalico credits the knowledge and quick action of a UTEP PD Officer, who performed life-saving CPR on her.
“I happened to be walking with Officer Bell who knew exactly how to administer CPR and call for EMS support…his quick action, the EMS’s rapid response and the outstanding care I received at the Providence Memorial Hospital–mostly from UTEP-educated healthcare professionals—saved my life.”
Dr. Natalicio went on to say that while in the hospital, she was diagnosed with a cardiac arrythmia; which she says has now been addressed.
She added, “I’m especially happy to report that I’ve been able to return to my office this week. The UTEP campus has never looked quite so beautiful!”
Diana Natalicio became UTEP’s first woman president in 1988 and is today the longest-serving still sitting president of a major public research university in the United States.
Below is Dr. Natalicio’s memo in its entirety.
March 29, 2016
TO: UTEP Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends
FROM: Diana Natalicio, President
SUBJECT: The Beat Goes On…..
As many of you are aware, on February 18, I suffered a health scare which began with my collapse on the UTEP campus. Fortunately, at that moment, I happened to be walking with UTEP Police Officer Bion Bell, who knew exactly how to administer CPR and call for EMS support. His quick action, the EMS’s rapid response, and the outstanding care I received at the Providence Memorial Hospital–mostly from UTEP-educated healthcare professionals—saved my life. While in the hospital, I was diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia, which has been addressed. I’m especially happy to report that I’ve been able to return to my office this week. The UTEP campus has never looked quite so beautiful!
This story’s happy ending certainly began with the highly competent initial response to my emergency and the excellent care I received while hospitalized. It was also shaped by the hundreds of cards, email messages, beautiful flowers and plants, and delicious food, all of which conveyed to me well wishes and healing thoughts and prayers from UTEP students, faculty and staff, and from UTEP alumni, colleagues and friends in the surrounding community and across the globe. There is no way that I can fully express my appreciation individually to everyone whose competence saved my life and whose heartfelt support accelerated my recovery. I will also always be grateful to my many UTEP colleagues who stepped up to ensure that UTEP’s important work continued without interruption during my absence.
The moral of this story is that, like the students we so proudly serve, the extended UTEP family is remarkably resilient, with capacity to achieve our greatest aspirations in an ever-changing higher education context. Important work remains to be done to increase opportunities for our students and continue reinforcing UTEP’s national model of access and excellence. I am deeply gratified to be able to continue partnering with all of you to get this work done!