DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — An Ozark woman is being called a hero by her family and friends after her father’s heart stopped on the way to a doctor’s appointment.

His daughter jumps into action.

John Matthews and his family were getting ready to go to Matthews’ doctor’s appointment when suddenly Matthews stopped talking and his breaths shortened.

John Matthews

“Had to start CPR on him because he quit breathing and his heart stopped,” John Matthews’ daughter, Laura Smith said.

For more than 7 minutes, Matthews’ daughter, Laura Smith performed CPR on her father as a family member drove Matthews and Smith from Matthews’ home in Ozark to the emergency room at Dale Medical Center.

Laura Smith

“I mean it was a difficult thing, but you have to act quickly,” Smith said.

When they arrived, hospital staff took over.

They stabilized Matthews’ vitals and began looking into what caused the accident.

“It was a blood pressure drop and also he is retaining a lot of fluid because of his kidney function,” Smith said.

Matthews has since been transferred to Flowers Hospital, where doctors continue to run tests on him.

“I am not sure of a time when he will be coming home,” Smith said.

Smith has been a respiratory therapist for 26 years, which helped her notice signs of cardiac arrests, such as a change in a person’s breathing.

She says CPR is important to learn because you never know when it will be needed.

“Even with a child, adult, you know whatever age it’s a good thing to know CPR,” Smith said.