Saint Petersburg, FL

Florida Teen Saves Best Friend's Life After Completing CPR Training

Synthia Stark’zarria Simmons and Torri’ell Norwood (photo from Torri’ell Norwood)

It’s important to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation, generally known to us as CPR. CPR is a life-saving technique that can be helpful across many emergencies, including, but not limited to, drownings and heart attacks.

Millions of people die each and every year. If someone that you know is in danger, it’s best to know the tools and techniques needed to help them survive. For example, the American Heart Association recommends using the C-A-B technique, where you focus on compressions, airways, and breathing.

  • First, if you find someone who is unresponsive and doesn’t seem to have a pulse, you need this person to lie back on a firm surface.
  • You would then need to kneel next to the person’s shoulders and neck.
  • Then, you could place the hand’s heel over the center of this person’s chest and place your second hand on top of your first hand.
  • Keeping your elbows straight, position your shoulder directly above your hands.
  • Finally, you would use your upper body weight to push straight down on the chest for 2 inches (but not beyond 2.4 inches), and you have to push hard to a rate of 100–120 compressions a minute (think of the tune behind the song Stayin’ Alive)
  • If you’re not trained in CPR, continue these chest compressions until the paramedics arrive.

In the meantime, CPR can keep the oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until a more direct course of medical treatment can be administered.

Often, a lot of us do CPR training, but it’s never something that we actually have to use. Imagine just completing one of these life-saving CPR training courses and then immediately having to use it because something was happening to your best friend in real life?

In St. Petersburg, Florida, a 16-year-old teenager by the name of Torri’ell Norwood was behind the wheel of her car. The car got T-boned by a speeding driver and it hurled the car and her three passengers across someone’s front lawn, and it barreled right into a tree.

The force of the impact crushed the door of the car, and Torri’ell was unable to escape the car safely. Instead, Torri’ell was forced to climb out through the window just to get out. Two passengers were unhurt and were also able to get themselves out of the vehicle, all in one piece.

However, as the three tried to make sense of what happened, Torri’ell turned around and realized that her best friend A’zarria was nowhere to be seen. Torri’ell realized that her best friend was still in the vehicle. crashed car (photo from Torri’ell Norwood)

Torri’ell ran back to the car as fast as she could and she found A’zarria sitting in the car, still unresponsive. A’zarria had apparently hit her head on a rear passenger window, which is a type of blunt-force trauma that could result in life-threatening injuries.

Torri’ell pulled A’zarria out of the car and immediately got to work, checking her vital signs. Since Torri’ell couldn’t detect a pulse, Torri’ell ended up using the CPR techniques.

Curiously, within the past 24 hours, Torri’ell had just recently taken a course on CPR. The timing of the situation was miraculous — Torri’ell learned CPR at Lakewood High School’s Athletic Lifestyle Management Academy, also located in St. Petersburg, Florida.

In the end, Torri’ell administered 30 compressions and two rescue breaths until A’zarria regained her consciousness. Paramedics arrived shortly afterward and then transported A’zarria to the closest hospital in the area.

When news got back to her CPR instructor, Erika Miller, she was both in awe and astonished by the performance of her heroic student. Miller also identified that most of her former students never really get to use CPR, not unless they ended up working in the medical field, such as a nurse or as an EMT, and even then, it’s usually years later, not within 24 hours after a specific training session.

By the time A’zarria woke up, she was already in the hospital, and for now, cannot seem to remember the accident. However, it’s clear that her friendship with Torri’ell became much stronger, especially since Torri’ell just saved her life. Plus, they’ve known each other since the seventh grade and both vow to pursue careers in the medical sciences, sometime in the future. This just goes to show, that learning CPR is can be quite valuable, especially in the days ahead.

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Writer & Researcher | Therapist-in-Training | Crisis Responder | Writing wholesome stories for the masses.

New York City, NY

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