HEMET – Tahquitz High School began offering emergency medical response classes at the beginning of the school year. The school currently offers the class as part of a Career Technical Education pathway, which gives students the ability to gain more hands-on experience through classroom and internship opportunities. While students may have enrolled in the class to enter a career and help others in the future, two students used the information they learned to save two children, giving them a greater future.
Samantha Gudiel Veliz is a senior at Tahquitz. She used what she learned in her EMR class to stabilize her nephew. A few weeks ago, Veliz was with her nephew and brother-in-law, when she realized her nephew was closing his eyes and seemed to be fainting. The three-year-old had been sick with a high fever. Veliz quickly took control of the situation.
“Everything I learned in class came to my mind,” Veliz said. She called 911, began checking his vitals and monitoring his breathing. She made sure to keep her nephew awake and alert throughout the process. The paramedics came and they were able to take her nephew to the hospital to treat him.
Adam Chacon, also a senior at Tahquitz, encountered a similar situation. He and his nephew were at home one day when his nephew began coughing. His one-year-old nephew had just taken a big bite of food that had been lodged in his airway. Chacon remembered that coughing is good, because it means only part of the airway is blocked so he encouraged his nephew to continue coughing. He noticed that his nephew’s lips had turned blue, so he turned his nephew over to administer baby compressions. Thanks to these actions, the food dislodged, and Chacon was able to swipe it out of the child’s mouth. He continued to encourage his nephew to cough to ensure everything was out.
“I’m glad I took EMR,” Chacon said. “I wouldn’t have learned what I needed to save my nephew.”
Veliz plans to attend college next year and pursue a career in nursing. She said that nursing would allow her to help more people, and she said she sees it as a very rewarding career. Chacon has enlisted in the U.S. Army and will leave in July; he plans to continue his education and become a nurse as well.