One student nurse is being hailed for putting her training to quick use. Tiffany McFall, an 18-year-old nursing student at West-MEC in Surprise, AZ, rescued one of her fellow students last August while working as an attendant at Aqua-Tots Swim School in Peoria.
“It’s crazy to think that the skills I learned here, I saved my best friend and coworker that day,” the student said.
Tiffany says she noticed her friend suddenly in distress while she instructed a swim class. “The signs that I saw were, she was twitching, I called her name like three or four times, she would not respond,” said Tiffany. “It was pretty scary.”
Turns out, the woman was experiencing a seizure while in the pool. Tiffany rushed into action without hesitating. She dove into the pool and let her training take over.
“Her knees were up to her chest so I couldn’t pull her out,” said Tiffany.
She got behind the woman and supported her weight under her arm pits, focusing on keeping her head above water and putting her in proper positioning to ride out the episode. Tiffany supported her body until the seizure was over.
“There was one thing I did say, I will never forget it, it was, I’m here for you, like I was not going to let her go under,” said Tiffany.
She had just learned the technique earlier that day in school, and the timing couldn’t have been better.
“If I had not gone through the training, I probably would have frozen with anxiety,” said Tiffany.
“She came in the day after that happened and said oh my gosh, I have a story to tell,” said Tamara Greabell, Tiffany’s nursing instructor at West-MEC. She says she was blown away with what she heard.
“It was amazing that an 18-year-old kid had the knowledge and skills and confidence to do that and maintain her composure, so I was really proud of her,” said Greabell.
Tiffany says her friend is now doing fine and it certainly brought them even closer. “She gave me a hug, she was, it was emotional,” said Tiffany.
The experience not only solidified that friendship but a future where saving lives is just another day at the office.