BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Quick thinking and fast action likely saved the life of an elderly woman who had a heart attack at Childersburg High School last Friday,
“I heard something fall and actually heard student say she fell,” Clerical Assistant Brenda Bulger described the moment that sparked a chain reaction of efforts to save a life. “She was laying face down on the floor where she had fell out and I immediately started screaming call 911,” she continued.
The woman came to the school to help with a Christmas party, but she collapsed before she could make it to the classroom.
“I’ll called dispatch to send an ambulance, an elderly woman has fallen, and she is unresponsive,” said School resource officer Josh Vandiver. He was one of the first to respond to the initial call for help.
“Once we rolled her over and realized she wasn’t breathing and there was no pulse, that’s when I called and told them to speed up the process,” he continued.
The assistant principal Brittanni Brown was the next person to come running.
“I noticed Officer Vandiver taking her pulse and he said there was no pulse and I could tell she wasn’t breathing. So, I immediately went into first responder mode and I initiated CPR,” said Brown.
The school nurse was also radioed for help until first responders arrived.
“I had no idea what kind of emergency it was until I walked in through those double doors and I was shocked,” said Candace Presley.
She continued CPR, while the school principal, Dr. Quentin Lee ran to get an AED.
“I placed the pads on her chest. The machine actually talks you through. I followed the prompts on the AED until EMS arrived,” explained Presley.
“You can try to train and train for a situation like this, but until it happens there’s no way to determine how you going to feel the emotions that go through,” said Principal Dr. Quentin Lee. “Everyone operated in the spirit of excellence to fulfill the role on the team.”
They’re calling it a Christmas miracle, because this woman survived with the help of a few angels.
“God gave us a miracle,” said Mary Pearson, who teaches at the high school. “You know how people say miracles happen at Christmas miracles do happen all the time and we just have to believe.”
That elderly woman has since had a quadruple bypass surgery this week and is recovering. Dr. Lee, the principal at the high school, said the students all made her get well cards.