Teens’ actions truly inspire

Let’s not wait until the annual, inspiring American Red Cross Snohomish County Chapter’s Real Heroes Breakfast to praise two students who saved an unconscious man’s life last week by performing CPR on him until EMTs arrived.

Best friends and Everett High School freshmen Hailey Enick and Jasmine Daniels leapt into action on the night of April 4, as The Herald’s Rikki King reported, when they saw the man unconscious in a car. The man’s friends were shaking him and dumping cold water on him. Police believe the man overdosed, which may explain the ineffectual steps taken by his friends to help him. But the American Heart Association says roughly 70 percent of people may feel helpless in an emergency because of their inability to perform CPR. Which is a tragedy, because when done correctly, as in this case, it usually saves someone’s life.

It’s often a beautiful mystery as to how the right people, the heroes, happen to be at the right place at the right time. In this instance, Hailey, Jasmine and Hailey’s little sister, Meleah, were out with Hailey’s mom, Nicole Enick, to pick up a cake for Hailey’s 15th birthday, which was the next day. Hailey’s mom also wanted to stop and get a picture of Saturday’s full moon. (The so-called blood moon, which occurs with a total lunar eclipse, was “huge and red and orange,” Jasmine, 15, told King, which no doubt added real eeriness to scene that was about to unfold.) Around 9 p.m. they pulled into the McDonald’s parking lot off Marine Drive NE in Tulalip, where the girls saw the man in the car, and his friends.

In first-responder fashion, fueled by adrenaline and knowledge of what to do, Hailey and Jasmine pulled the roughly 250-pound man from his driver’s seat — taking care to watch out for possible needles — and began taking turns doing chest compressions. After about five minutes, the man began gasping for air. A few minutes later, police and paramedics arrived and took over.

What is not a mystery is how Hailey and Jasmine knew exactly what to do in this particular emergency: They had CPR training in their health class with teacher Darrell Olson. The training is organized through the Medic One Foundation and the Everett Fire Department. They knew that the key to doing the chest compressions was not to stop. Which can be physically difficult, which is why they took turns. As a police officer told Hailey, the man would not have lived without their CPR.

What an inspiring example of education, and bravery, in practice. Grateful thanks to Hailey and Jasmine for their example. And so what is the lesson for the rest of us? Just as Hailey says, of course: “Everyone should learn how to do CPR.”

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