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He Saved a Life

Austin Aguirre
Photos by Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Pre-nursing student Austin Aguirre was in the right place at the right time

Get to know our students, and you’ll know what UMKC is all about.

Austin Aguirre, ’20
Program: Bachelor of Health Sciences, Pre-Nursing Track
School: School of Nursing and Health Studies
Hometown: Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Where is UMKC taking you?

To the place I want to be. I chose UMKC because it has a good nursing program, and I love the location of the Health Sciences Campus on Hospital Hill because it’s close to downtown. I chose nursing because I want to help and have an impact on someone’s life every day.


Austin Aguirre Award


It sounds like you’ve already made a major impact. In January, the Lee’s Summit Parks & Recreation board recognized you for saving a man’s life when he went into cardiac arrest.

I was in the weight room and saw a man pass out. I went over to him and he wasn’t responsive. No pulse. I began performing chest compressions on him. I was so thankful I’d had a pre-nursing class where I learned CPR the prior semester. Two lifeguards then came with a defibrillator before he was transported to a hospital.

Have you kept in touch with the man you saved?

Yes, I’ve kept in touch with Terrance. He calls me his angel. He tells me if he had gone to the community center when he normally does that I would not have been at the right place at the right time to save his life. I didn’t need any recognition. I’m just so extremely happy and beyond grateful I was there for him.



What’s one word that best describes you?

Hardworking. I work full time while I’m pursuing my degree.

What’s your greatest fear?

Failing or letting down myself and the people closest to me.

How has the nursing program inspired you?

It’s challenged me to be a better student, and to push myself to meet the requirements of the program.

What are your lifelong goals?

To be happy, and to raise a family.


What motto do you live by?

Do it for those who can’t.


Watch a video of Terrance Benson showing up unannounced at the board meeting where Austin Aguirre was recognized for his actions.


From across the country and around the world, our students come together in Kansas City to study business, medicine, theatre and more than 100 other academic areas. Roos become leaders in their fields and give back to their communities.

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