O'Campo, an Ontario native, was working Oct. 6, 2006, with two male officers searching cells at Ironwood State Prison near Blythe when they discovered drugs and other contraband - which in prison is worth 10 times more than outside, she said.
"You could just feel the tension," O'Campo said.
They were pounced on by a group of inmates - more than 20 people joined in on the attack, she said.
In the midst of being punched and kicked by the inmates, O'Campo said she could see one of her colleagues down on the ground.
"There were so many inmates on him I was more worried
Corrections Lt. Sue Smith said O'Campo's quick reaction and ability to use her baton to fend off the inmates prevented the officers from suffering life-threatening injuries.
"Her act of heroism definitely helped save the lives of other officers," Smith said.
The fight lasted a minute before the corrections officers were able to get assistance, but O'Campo said it "felt like forever."
Had she not acted the way she did, Smith said there was potential for the situation to get out of control as at least 200 other inmates were present at the time of the attack.
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in May honored O'Campo for her actions by awarding her the Medal of Valor, the highest honor given to a person who displays an extraordinary act of courage.
The nomination and medal surprised O'Campo.
"It was overwhelming," she said. "I felt undeserving. I did something any officer would have done in my position. I don't think I did anything above and beyond what I'm supposed to do."
On Friday, along with her boyfriend, mother and family members, O'Campo will travel to Flagstaff, Ariz., where she will receive a national Medal of Valor from the Corrections Officers Association.
"She's absolutely a brave individual," Smith said.
A month after the attack, O'Campo experienced a loss of appetite and nausea. After further examination, doctors found she had suffered a brain hemorrhage.
It would be another seven months before O'Campo was back on the job. The recovery time was not easy as she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
"When somebody would get close to me I would just shake," she said. "I would be at the grocery store, and I would just begin to tremble if someone got close. I just lost that trust in people."
The attack was the first one in O'Campo's short career as a corrections officer that began at the prison in July 2005.
"I guess I was just ignorant that it wouldn't happen to me," she said.
O'Campo said she was only able to regain her confidence with the help of all the words of encouragement she received from friends and family, especially her mother, Yolanda Alicia Ca edo.
"It makes me cry to think of what she went through," Ca edo said.
As Ca edo fought through the tears to speak, she said she would pray for her daughter every day she went to work at the prison.
In April 2007, O'Campo returned to work, but this time as a corrections officer at California Rehabilitation Center in Norco.
She said she suffered a minor setback that first day. She was assigned to cover the yard, and she had a panic attack when all of the inmates came out of their cells and to the yard.
In June, she became a parole officer in Moreno Valley.
Despite knowing the risks, O'Campo said she took the job as a corrections officer because it had great benefits but also to prepare herself for her new role as a parole officer.
"I wanted to better understand what I was dealing with," she said.
No one is more proud of O'Campo than her mother. Ca edo said her daughter won't show off or talk about her medal.
"I have taken (it) to my friends and family and shown it to them," she said.
Ca edo worked in the Corrections Department for 32 years and even served as a corrections officer at one time.
"I know what's come in and what's come out," Ca edo said of the inmates. "I know what they're capable of. I'm just so proud of my daughter, and she's so humble."