Teen saves her friend's life using CPR skills a day after she completed the skill in school

Teen saves her friend's life using CPR skills a day after she completed the skill in school

The girl had only learned how to do CPR the day before in school. She then used 30 compressions and two rescue breaths to save her friend.

Cover Image Source: YouTube/WFLA News Channel 8/Pinellas Co. Teen uses CPR to save friend's life

16-year-old Torri'ell Norwood, a junior at St. Petersburg's Lakewood High School, took part in the school's Athletic Lifestyle Management Academy, where she was introduced to various careers in health science. "We do vital signs and they learn how to take blood pressure and check pulse. We have just about 100 students in our academy," Erika Miller, Norwood's instructor, told CNN.

Another life skill that Norwood was taught there was to perform CPR. "There are two components, a hands-on skills component where they have to demonstrate that they're proficient in the skills of adult, child, and infant CPR, how to help somebody who's choking, as well as how to use an AED (defibrillator). And then there's a written test component, showing that they retain that knowledge," she added.



A day after she completed her CPR training, Norwood was driving three of her friends home in St. Petersburg, Florida, on February 20 when another car slammed into hers, which sent her car spinning into a tree. "We crashed in someone's yard and I hit the tree," Norwood said.

The impact was so strong that Norwood's side of the door was jammed. She had to get out of the vehicle by jumping through the window. When she checked up on her friends, she was glad to find that two of them managed to get out unscathed. 

However, her 16-year-old friend A'zarria Simmons hit her head on the backseat window on impact. "When I turned around, I didn't see A'zarria running with us," Norwood said. "So, I had to run back to the car as fast as I can. She was just sitting there unresponsive."

That's when Norwood knew she had to use her training from the day before to save her friend. "A lot of people started to gather around to see what was happening. I started yelling, 'Back up, back up, she needs space.'"



She carefully pulled her friend out to the lawn, making sure the broken glass shards didn't hurt her. "That's when I checked her pulse on her neck. I put my head against her chest, and I didn't really hear anything. So that's when I just started doing CPR on her."

30 compressions and two rescue breaths later, Simmons regained consciousness. By then, the paramedics had arrived and rushed her to the hospital, where she received stitches for a gash in her forehead. "I don't remember the hit or anything about the accident. But when I woke up, I was in the hospital. I was in shock. I was trying to figure out how I got there," Simmons recounted.

When Miller learned that Norwood resuscitated a friend, she was just so proud of her student. "I was just absolutely astounded," Miller said. "I have former students come back once they're in nursing school or have gone on to pursue careers as EMTs and say 'Oh my gosh, you know, this is what it was like' but not while they were still a student of mine or definitely not within 24 hours. This is what every teacher dreams of, you know, that somebody listens, pays attention, learns something."



Norwood and Simmons have been friends for a long time and the incident has only brought them closer. "We've been friends since seventh grade," Simmons shared. "And since then, it just been us."

Simmons noted that her friend's actions did not surprise her as she was someone who would always be there to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.  "She will always help any way she can, to help anybody," Simmons said. "Even if it wasn't me, if was someone else and she knew she could do something to help, she would do it. So I wasn't really shocked about that. Now, both of them plan to pursue careers in the medical field.

"I do want to be a nurse," an excited Norwood said. "I know that if somebody was in need of help, I'd go to the rescue."


Cover Image Source: YouTube/WFLA News Channel 8/Pinellas Co. Teen uses CPR to save friend's life


Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.