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Student performed CPR on teacher and saved her life

Posted at 8:05 PM, Jan 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 12:50:18-05

PHOENIX — Until this week, Metro Tech High School teacher Ellen Driscoll didn't know Salim Mohamed. Now, she'll never forget him.

"What I remember most is his floppy hair was coming down and touching her as he was doing chest compressions."

Driscoll and a colleague were taking a lunchtime walk around campus Wednesday when all of the sudden, "we were back where they were playing volleyball and right then I realized she was going to pass out." Driscoll said. "I reached out to a student and said 'help, help.'"

Not far away, Salim Mohamed was in the school's gym.

"I was working out," Mohamed said. "These two girls came in and called my coach, and I ran out with him." Salim followed the girls to the woman who was lying on the ground unconscious. "They say her heart stopped so I started chest compressions," he said.

While Driscoll put the 911 operator on speakerphone, Mohamed performed CPR for nearly five minutes. He was urged on by his coach and the operator until first responders arrived.

"No one asked him," Driscoll said. "He just jumped in to help and it was like an angel coming down because I was very afraid. To have someone come in and willing to help was magical, just amazing."

The victim regained conscious before being taken to the hospital.

"She came out gasping for air."

Mohamed, who is studying auto collision at Metro Tech High, says he learned CPR in health class, never thinking the day would come when he would have to perform it.

"It's just a normal thing," he said. "Everybody should know how to do it. It was easy."

In a letter to parents, Metro Tech Principal Bryan Reynoso said the staff member suffered a seizure. It was later learned she suffered a heart attack.

She is recovering and Driscoll says she is eager to meet Salim Mohamed. Salim says he may try to visit her.