WCU-Texas MPA Student Spotlight: Cynthia O.

WCU physician assistant program student Cynthia O.

Cynthia O. had just begun her second trimester of the physician assistant master’s program at West Coast University-Texas when she told her professor and classmates the story of how she saved a life over school break.   

One day, Cynthia and her best friend decided to take a walk through a local park. They soon noticed a man lying unconscious in a pool of blood while bystanders called out his name in panic. Without hesitating, Cynthia ran to help.  

 “I noticed no one knew what to do, so then I dropped down to help because I had my basic life support certification,” she said. “I checked his pulse and didn’t feel anything, then I started going in with chest compressions and performed CPR. When I was doing chest compressions, I noticed he began gasping.”   

 Cynthia also called 911 for help, and once the EMT arrived, they commended her on her quick response. For Cynthia, this was the moment she knew she was in the right field.  

A Passion Sparked by Personal Trial

Cynthia has always been passionate about working in healthcare, and her passion grew after losing her mother to health complications prior to coming to West Coast University.   

 “When I would ask a healthcare worker about my mom, they’d tell me one thing, but her illness was something completely different. What happened to her made me realize that I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she shared. “I want to be able to be that person that saves lives.”   

 That day in the park, Cythia saved a life. She was later informed that the man she helped was in good health and back to work.   

 “I wish I was there for my mom. If I knew the things I know now, I would’ve noticed her signs and symptoms,” Cynthia shared. “I told myself, although you couldn’t do much about her situation, you are here now. The experience in the park was like a reassurance.”  

 As part of the first cohort of MPA students at WCU-Texas, Cynthia’s advice to the next group is: “You’re smarter than you think. Stay true to yourself, and embrace your struggles because they’ll soon be testimonies. “  

“It’s easier said than done in the moment,” Cynthia said. “But you’ll look back and be like, ‘I went through all that, but I’m here now.’” 

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.