Professors at Hannah Chuter's nursing school may have to consider giving her some extra credits next semester after she saved an elderly woman's life at a Burnaby SkyTrain station.
As a nursing student, the 18-year-old Coquitlam resident has had some experience dealing with people in medical emergencies. So when a woman collapsed and went into cardiac arrest at the bus loop at Lougheed Town Centre, Chuter was ready and able to assist.
"She wasn't breathing, she had no pulse," she said. "I started CPR and mouth-to-mouth, and basically I just did that until paramedics arrived."
The victim was quickly taken to the hospital and doctors were able to save her. Last week, the BC Ambulance Service recognized Chuter for her actions and she received a medal from the province. She also got a chance to meet Mila Chrisologo, the person she saved and the family, which, thanks to Chuter's action, still has a grandmother.
"She said I am her guardian angel and someone was looking out for her that day," Chuter told The Tri-City News. "The whole family was really grateful."
The incident is a reminder of why it is important for everyone - regardless of whether they are going to nursing school - to know CPR, she added.
Keeping cool in a stressful situation is also paramount, Chuter said, because many people have the ability to save a person's life but freeze up at the sign of trouble. She admits that she was "hysterical" at the time of the incident but still managed to keep her focus and continue with the CPR.
"I think it is very important," she said. "You never know when something like this is going to happen. It could happen to a family member and you could be out in the middle of nowhere."
Chuter and several other individuals involved in other life-saving events around the province were recognized by the BCAS for their heroic work at a ceremony last week in Vancouver. According to the ambulance service, a cardiac victim is four times more likely to survive if they receive bystander CPR but the procedure is not performed in 85% of cases.
"As you can tell from these amazing stories of survival, a life can be saved just by knowing CPR," said BCAS Supt. Randy Hansen. "It's a simple skill to learn and can have such a huge impact."