D211 Post: Conant Student Provides Lifesaving Aid

James B. Conant Senior Kaitlyn O’Brien (right) checks safety equipment worn by a fellow student during the Certified Nursing Assistant Program class.

            When James B. Conant High School Senior Kaitlyn O’Brien started her shift at Rosario’s in Schaumburg September 28, she expected a usual Saturday evening.  Shortly after taking a call-in order, she said one of the waitresses ran into the back calling for the owner.

            “The waitress said a woman passed out,” O’Brien said.  “Initially I didn’t think anything of it.  I just kept bagging food.”

             A short time later, O’Brien said the owner ran in to call 911, which seemed weird to her if it were something as simple as dehydration.  When she heard the owner tell the dispatcher someone was doing CPR, she realized how serious the situation was.

            “I said to one of the adult waiters that I was certified in CPR and asked if I should go out and help,” she said.

            When O’Brien reached the dining area of the restaurant, she saw the unresponsive woman, surrounded by her family.  The woman’s daughter, a nurse, had already begun performing CPR, and O’Brien asked if she could help.

            Conant High School Science Teacher John Shoro said that while two-person CPR is not taught in traditional CPR certification courses, it is taught in the school’s Medical Terminology class, which O’Brien had taken the previous semester.

            O’Brien and the woman’s daughter continued CPR until the arrival of paramedics.  Though the woman was not responsive at the time the paramedics transported her, she was later revived.  At this time the woman is expected to make a full recovery.  O’Brien’s actions are credited with helping keep the woman alive. 

            “I think it’s important to be CPR certified,” O’Brien said.  “Even if you aren’t, you should always be ready to help in some way.”

            Following graduation, O’Brien, who is currently enrolled in the District’s Certified Nursing Assistant program, plans to attend college where she will major in nursing and minor in sign language.