Conant student helps save a life

Katie O’Brien

Katie O’Brien, ’19, with parents Cathy and Bob O’Brien, at the Oct. 18 District 211 Board of Education meeting. O’Brien was recognized for performing CPR that helped to save someone’s life.

Katie O’Brien, ’19, was working at Rosario’s on Sept. 29 when an elderly woman went into cardiac arrest while eating dinner.

O’Brien sprung into action. She said, “I heard the lady’s daughter, who was a nurse, was already doing CPR, so I wanted to go see if she needed any help and she did, and I got down on my knees and continued compressions while the nurse did mouth to mouth.”

One of O’Brien’s co-workers, Erin Miller, called the police while watching the scene. Miller said, “Although the moment was one of the scariest things in my life to watch, I couldn’t help but be proud of Katie for the way she took the situation upon herself. She was fearless in such a fearful situation.”

Others in the restaurant did what they could to keep the environment calm and safe. O’Brien said, “Most of the restaurant moved out of the way into the front of the restaurant by the bar, but a few servers were just staying back and making sure everything around us was okay, and the family of the lady was watching.” O’Brien said, “While I was doing CPR I was kind of in a trance. I was just so focused on doing the right compressions, I wasn’t thinking about it that much.”

Another co-worker of O’Brien’s, Janis Gelfond, said, “Katie handled the situation really well because she was willing to help and was not afraid at all. She was confident in a panicked situation, which was definitely not how the rest of us felt.”

She was honored for performing CPR at the school board meeting on Oct. 18. O’Brien said, “Being recognized at the board meeting is a big honor, and I’m grateful.”

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