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Head Start nurse saves a life

Posted Date: 01/07/2019

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On Oct. 22, Lamar County Head Start classroom assistant Monica Shelton called the Nurse’s Office to report a grandparent having trouble breathing. Nurse Jeania Bryer found Stephen Shehan with shortness of breath and asked Shelton to call 911 for an ambulance.

Director Eva Williams brought a make shift wheelchair to transport Shehan to the Nurse’s office. He was displaying classic symptoms of a heart attack. Bryer administered an aspirin, monitored his vital signs, and waited for the ambulance to arrive.

Lamar County Head Start policy and procedures requires staff to be certified for American Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid.  In 2015, Head Start provided funding for Bryer to become a certified instructor.  Head Start classroom and office staff finished the American Red Cross requirements for certification for all classroom and office staff just a few short weeks before this emergency occurred. 

According to Bryer, “During the certification process, the staff had an opportunity to practice skills needed in scenarios of emergency situations. I am excited that our staff worked as a well-oiled machine when an emergency was presented on our campus.  We all worked together and everyone did an amazing job—exactly how we were trained.”

Shehan returned to the campus in December to thank everyone who got him the help he needed. He said, “Jeania Bryer gave me an aspirin and I think that saved my life because it thinned my blood enough so they could do what they had to do at the hospital. Jeania Bryer is the best.  She was careful and took care of me like I was one of the students. You should never underestimate a Head Start nurse.”

A few tears were shed and everyone got a hug.

Photographed from left are Monica Shelton, Jeania Bryer, Stephen Shehan, and Eva Williams.

Photographed from left are Monica Shelton, Jeania Bryer, Stephen Shehan, and Eva Williams.



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