OHS Senior Helps Save Man with Quick-Thinking CPR
Jan 16, 2017 06:21PM ● Published by Steven Jack
OHS Senior Alicia Alexander helped save a man's life Sunday after seeing him laying on the side of the road in Downtown Oswego.
It was just before noon Sunday when the Oswego High School senior was traveling through downtown Oswego on Douglas Street and spotted a man laying on the ground next to a landscaping truck. Two of the man's co-workers were huddled over him.
"We normally don't take this way to church," Alicia said. "But we happened to on Sunday for some reason. When we saw him there my Grandma and I said 'we have to turn around and see what's going on.'"
After quickly springing into action, Alicia, who worked for the past two summers as a lifeguard at Raging Waves Waterpark in Yorkville, discovered the man was complaining of chest pains and had collapsed a few minutes before she got there.
Her extensive CPR training kicking in, Alicia immediately checked the man's vital signs and determined he had no pulse.
"911 had been called, but we had no other choice at this point than to do CPR," she said.
Remembering that she always carries a portable CPR faceshield on her keychain, Alicia asked her grandfather to grab it from her purse. She immediately began giving the man breaths until paramedics from the Oswego Fire Protection District arrived.
By the time they arrived to shock the man's heart, Alicia said he was taking very shallow breaths.
"All of my instincts just kicked in. I just kept going over and over again," she said. "The paramedics told me I did a great job."
Alicia's Mom, Mandy Null, said she's not surprised by her daughter's actions. She said she's always been a very caring and thoughtful person.
"Through the whole thing she just remained calm. She's just a kid. I know she's 18, but there aren't a lot of adults who would stop and do what she did. ... When I saw her later I was bawling my eyes out. I gave her such a big hug I almost tackled her."
Mandy said her daughter is hoping for a career in the medical field, and has been busy applying to schools. Alicia said she just received word from her first choice, Loyola University, that she had been accepted.
After the excitement of the day on Sunday, Alicia said she couldn't stop thinking about the man. She said she was able to see him at the hospital and meet his family. He wasn't conscious, but he was in stable condition.
"Everyone was very thankful." Alicia said. "We were able to pray together. They kept on calling me his Guardian Angel. I just think God put me in the right place at the right time."