Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Don't Waste It

Some very profound events have happened here recently and they got me to thinking. What if someone saved your life? Would you live it any differently than you had up to that point? You've been given a second chance by a benevolent person. Do you have any responsibility to make the most of that?

The profound event happened about three weeks ago. She-who-is-pretty-darn-impressive was in her classroom. It was the end of the period and her students began filing out. One of her students came up, complaining that she didn't feel well. "Do I feel warm to you?" She asked. She was wearing a turtleneck and a sweater. It was 75 degrees outside. She-who-is looked up at her student and suggested she take off the sweater. "I can't. I'm cold." That was enough to earn this seventh grader a pass to the nurse. As she-who-is began filling out the slip, she told the girl. "You need to go to the nurse." That's when the girl fell to the floor and things got crazy.

She popped open her cell and dialed 911. As she was doing this, she also sent the only other remaining student in the room to another classroom to get help. She-who-is began relaying the details as she started assessing her fallen student. The 911 operator dispatched an ambulance and asked she-who-is to stay on the line. "I can't! She's not breathing!!!"

She-who-was-freaked-out dropped the phone at the same time the other teacher arrived. She hadn't rushed to get there because the student had told her "Mrs. She-who-is needs you." No explanation was given. So, the other teacher had assumed that she-who-is needed some help with the grading system. Good thing it wasn't an emergency.

The two teachers performed a coordinated CPR on the girl. They probably breathed for her for a good 30 seconds. Amazingly, with a gasp, she started breathing again. She was a little shocky when the paramedics arrived, but she was alive.

She has undergone a number of tests and they have not found anything, though she has collapsed one other time since this incident. She is not allowed to come back to school until this is sorted out. But her mother is a single parent who works two jobs. That means that she is spending any time when she is not receiving medical care home alone. What if it happens while she is alone? She certainly can't call for help.

I'm not sure what can be done differently, but she-who-is and her colleague saved this girl's life. It seems like someone, somehow should be doing more to make the most of this opportunity.