10/03/2014 07:00 EDT | Updated 12/03/2014 05:59 EST

UFC fighters tell story of Mexico rescue after snorkelling trip turns tragic

HALIFAX - Bantamweight Bryan Caraway has made the rounds this week.

As he met the media Thursday in advance of his co-main event fight with Raphael Assuncao on Saturday's UFC card in Halifax, Caraway and fighter/girlfriend Miesha (Cupcake) Tate were shown in a taped appearance on "The Doctors" TV show.

They were telling the story of how Tate saved the life of Caraway's mother Chris while on holiday in Mexico.

"It was kind of a crazy moment," the 30-year-old Caraway told reporters. "Obviously it was the worst day of my life so far. It was a nightmare."

Caraway and Tate treated his parents to a Mexico getaway in July, heading out on a snorkelling trip as part of the vacation. His mother had been doing fine in the water but when Tate looked back at the boat, she saw Chris lying lifeless on the steps of the catamaran.

Tate heard his dad screaming for him and his lifeless mother being worked on. After Tate and Caraway raced back to the boat, Chris was not breathing. Caraway took over CPR but it wasn't working.

"I just remember thinking like we have to find a way to save her life," an emotional Tate told the TV show. "That's when I saw her inhalers lying there so I immediately thought she's having an asthma attack."

They tried using the inhaler on Chris, who was turning purple, but it wasn't getting to her lungs. So Tate started using the inhaler herself, taking in seven to 10 puffs, and then began to blow into Chris' mouth as Caraway blocked his mother's nose.

"I blew as hard as I could," said Tate. "It was so incredibly hard to blow into her lungs. It was so seized up, her throat looked like a puffer fish. I just kept blowing as hard as I could and then finally I heard this popping sound, almost as though her throat was popping open."

Amazingly, Caraway's mother recovered, joining Caraway and Tate on the taped TV appearance.

"Even just seeing the re-enactment just gets you emotional," Tate said. "Both of us fight for a living and that was the scariest thing I think either one of us has ever gone through."

Chris said the asthma was triggered by a panic attack, after thinking she had seen in a shark in the water.

"Hopefully it will really save a lot of people's lives and I really feel it has brought our family together," said Caraway, seeing a positive to Tate's quick thinking that horrible day.

"I couldn't be more proud of her," he said of Tate.

Caraway (19-7) is ranked 10th among men's bantamweight contenders. Tate is No. 2 among women's bantamweight contenders.


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