It was the last day of high school for this young lady. She was braiding her friend Jackie Acierno’s hair when she became very dizzy. Molly Alter said she had been having these symptoms for about six months now. She was previously examined by her doctors who ruled out low blood pressure, tumors, and other possible diseases.
“Don’t worry. This happens to me,” Molly told Jackie, as she laid down on the carpet in their classroom. "Don’t call an ambulance."
Jackie decided to ignore Molly’s request and ordered a student to call 911 and another to run and get the school nurse. Jackie soon saw Molly’s eyes roll back, her pulse fading, and her body going limp. This is when she quickly took action. Jackie just completed EMT training and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Jackie kept at it until the school nurse, Pat Neary, arrived with an automated external defibrillator (AED) — an electronic device that is used to shock someone’s heart back to their regular rhythm. Pat applied the first shock to Molly’s heart, but it did nothing. Then she applied a second shock. Nothing. The third shock was applied. Still nothing. Finally, on the fourth shock, Molly’s heart began to beat again.
By that point, a police officer had arrived at the scene. Unfortunately, it took the ambulance 25 minutes to show up. But Jackie, Pat, and the police officer managed to keep Molly’s heart beating by only using their hands. Molly says, “Ultimately, their quick thinking, and the CPR they performed saved my life.”
“I remember thinking: it’s better to be embarrassed for having overreacted than embarrassed for having done nothing,” Jackie says now.
Journalists from the Today Show sat down with Molly and Jackie to discuss the entire ordeal. You can watch the interview below. Do you know CPR? Share if you think this information is life changing!