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Radford nursing students save driver’s life in Salem

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - For three Radford nursing students, Saturday was a normal clinical rotation day, besides leaving late.

“We were running behind on taking vitals for the patients on the floor, took longer than usual so we didn’t leave until I wanna say an hour later than we usually do,” said Eleni Frank.

That extra hour put Eleni Frank, Mccallum Parrish and Emily Cha in downtown Salem, at the intersection of Thompson Memorial Drive and S. College Avenue, around 4:15 p.m. The women had completed their clinicals at LewisGale Medical Center and were headed toward 81.

”I looked up and noticed that this green van was pulled out into the intersection more than normal, it looked off and I saw his driver’s side window was down and his head was down and his chin was to his chest,” said Frank.

The women sprang into action. They left their car in a safe spot, went up to the van and tried to talk to the driver.

”I remember just reaching into the car and thinking a little shake would wake him up, but when there was absolutely nothing, not even a grunt, we looked at each other and realized this was a lot worse than what we were thinking,” said Cha.

”I was like, ‘hand me the stethoscope right now’ and I listened, you could not hear anything, it was unbelievable,” said Parrish

”And so Emily went ahead and started CPR and Mccallum was on the phone with 911,” said Frank.

According to 911 records, Paramedics arrived minutes later. The women stayed and watched.

“At that point I was like, ‘please be okay, and when they were able to resuscitate him and he was awake and talking we all came together, hugged each other one big circle,” said Frank.

They made another call when they got back on the road to Radford, to Robin Davis.

”When Emily called me she was like, Professor Davis, guess what, and so I’m thinking 81, oh my god they’re in a car wreck and then she went to tell me and it went from “Oh my God” to this is so great,” said Davis, an adjunct professor at Radford’s School of Nursing.

”I was just so proud of all of us, I think it gave us the confidence and just solidified that we are in the right profession,” said Frank.

A group of women in the right place, at just the right time.

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