Cna Student Honored For Saving Life

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Delaine Brooks didn't think her quick stop into Wal-Mart would involve saving a man's life.

Brooks, a Certified Nursing Assistant student at Gila Community College, sprang into action when a man collapsed at the store.

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Executive Director of the Mogollon Health Alliance, Judy Baker, honored Delaine Brooks for using her CPR skills to resuscitate a man at Wal-Mart.

"I was coming from my regular job to my class at the college and I stopped by Wal-Mart just to get one thing," Brooks said. "The minute I walked in the door, the patient was on the floor, he had just fallen and no one was doing anything."

Brooks ran over to him to check his condition

"He was turning blue and frothing at the mouth, which is a real bad sign and I asked for a mask and there was no mask," Brooks said. "A gentleman offered to do compressions, so I just started breathing for him.

"We lost him about three times. He didn't have a pulse," Brooks said. "We kept bringing him back and he kept getting purple and we'd bring him back again.

Finally -- it seemed like forever-- but the paramedics came and they shocked him and got him back."

The man was later flown to the Valley for treatment and returned to Payson a few days later.

The Executive Director of the Mogollon Health Alliance (MHA), Judy Baker, honored Brooks Wednesday night at the library. The MHA, which provides community health education, sponsors free CPR classes throughout the year.

"The person who did perform the CPR is actually a student at our community college taking CNA classes," Baker said. "Here she is doing these skills that she has just learned at our community college."

Baker, Payson Fire Chief Marty deMasi, Payson Regional Medical Center CEO Chris Wolf, Wal-Mart's Community Involvement Coordinator Lu DeSomma and Library Director Terry Morris all came to thank Brooks and honor her for her heroism.

Brooks was given award certificates from the MHA, Wal-Mart, the fire department and PRMC. She also got a protective mask for future rescues, and Payson Jewelers threw in a watch, handy for counting pulse rates.

"It may be the most important link in the chain of survival where someone recognizes the situation, assesses it and then takes action," deMasi said. "The sooner someone can start CPR and resuscitative measures the better the chance of the person surviving that incident. It might take us three or four minutes to get there and that period is very critical.

"Delaine is a true hero because she not only knew what to do, but she had the courage to do it," deMasi said.

Brooks said she has three weeks, two and a half hours and seven minutes left before completing her CNA certification.

"We find that students are pretty fearless and they are always willing to jump in and try their new skills," Baker said.

"It was a very awesome experience," Brooks said. "It's really changed my life."

Brooks said she didn't think twice about taking action.

"I just did it, but I think about it every single day now," Brooks said. "You just do what you have to do."

After this experience, Brooks feels more prepared for the next time she may have to resuscitate someone.

"I know I did some things wrong, but I must've done something right because he did live," she said. "If it happens again, I'm really prepared."

"When it comes to CPR, by not doing anything, you can't help. Your going to sit there and watch somebody die. Even if you do it wrong, you are doing something and that's OK," Baker said. "Doing nothing is wrong; doing something is right."

The MHA offers free CPR certification classes throughout the year. For more information, call (928) 472-2588.

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