Almost a week later, Asia Jones' voice still shakes describing how she did cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a lifeless neighbor — practicing the skills she learned in an East High School health class two years ago.
Asia remembers hearing the scream of a man in his driveway March 28 and seeing a girl in his arms, not breathing. She remembers someone calling 911. After that, the East senior became calm. She knew she had a job to do. She started chest compressions and kept them up until an ambulance arrived.
"I just knew, since I had the knowledge from school, I needed to do what I learned. I knew I had to jump in the situation. I don't want to say it was courage. It was just that her life was on the line. If I was in that situation, I would want someone to do the same for me."
"I'm proud of myself, but I'm just glad she's OK."
Asia credits her health teacher from sophomore year at East, Amy Chambers, with instructing her in CPR. Mrs. Chambers said her strategy in Asia's class was the same as it is now: Give the students scenarios and ask them to imagine what their role would be in a lifesaving situation: Would you call 911? Would you run to get an automated external defibrillator (AED) off the wall? Would you identify people who could help you perform CPR?
When Mrs. Chambers heard about what Asia did, she immediately looked at a seating chart from that school year to help her recall the student who learned her lesson so well.
"It makes you feel good" that something taught in the classroom help saved a life, Mrs. Chambers said. "Some things make for a full circle."
Millie Perry, an office professional at East, called Asia Jones one of the school's quieter students. "She's a little person inside," she said. "She did a big-person thing."
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