GRAND ISLAND, NY - Monday night on Grand Island, dozens of people came out to honor a middle school administrator who used CPR on a student that collapsed in the school hallway.
Don't call Veronica Connor Middle School Assistant Principal Eleanor Payne a hero, she says it was a team of people that went into action to essentially save the students life, "I'm honored and grateful I was at the right place at the right time,
it has been a surreal experience...goes to show you, being at the right place at the right time and having a team and people in place, my training was successful... I'm happy we have a happy ending to something that could have been a tragedy."
It was Sept 9th when Assistant Principal Eleanor Payne found herself in a position she never dreamed she would. A ten year old student collapsed and was found lying on the hallway floor with no pulse. The former softball and volleyball coach quickly went into action applying her cpr knowledge that she had become certified in twenty years ago.
The American Heart Association was so impressed, they honored Eleanor with an award as a way to say thank you, and to help bring awareness to others that learning CPR is easier than ever before.
The family of the little girl want to remain anonymous, but they are so grateful to Eleanor and all the others that helped their little girl. Eleanor urges everyone to take the time to learn CPR, something she thought she would never use, Payne says, "in some ways its very humbling, I was able to make a difference in someone's life, whether small or large and doing that."
Payne had to conduct several cycles of chest compressions on the student before her color, breathing and pulse returned. The heart association says she did it all by the book, and want you to know, one day you too may find yourself in the same position to possibly save a life. Liz Zulawski, Executive Director of the local chapter of the American Heart Association says you too can save a life..."you absolutely can, and chances are if someone needs CPR, it's someone close to you, a friend, a loved one, chances are it's not a total stranger."
Coincidentally Eleanor had just been re certified less than two weeks before this incident happened, and tells us she was very confident in what she was doing and never second guessed herself.