SC student uses new health lessons to help teacher in emergency | WFAE 90.7

SUMTER, SC — Sweet and confident are two words that best describe Crestwood High School junior Saravia Wright.

The 17-year-old is a first-year student in the Sumter Career and Technology Center’s Health Sciences Career Cluster Program, and this week she talked about how she recently put her newfound skills into practice to help potentially save a Sumter School teacher District life.

Wright and Lakewood High School teacher Gail Jennings shared a smile recently as they reflected on the events of Oct. 17, when the young nursing student jumped into field duty when Jennings experienced an episode of very high blood pressure at the career center.

While accompanying a group of Lakewood students on a tour to explore career and technical programs offered at the center, Jennings began to feel weak with a severe headache and could not look at the light. She told a member of staff nearby about her symptoms.

Wright was also nearby and when she heard the conversation, she immediately remembered that her cousin was suffering from the same symptoms due to high blood pressure.

In an instant, the student quickly brought a blood pressure monitor from her classroom to the stage to get an accurate reading.

The teenager calmed Jennings down through conversation and made an accurate count. Jennings’ blood pressure was at an emergency, crisis level, and the student immediately called her health sciences instructor at the center, Kim Browning, to the scene.

Browning assessed the situation and agreed with his student that Jennings needed immediate medical attention and school officials called an ambulance.

Jennings will spend most of the day at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital until her blood pressure drops.

Wright said this week that the event was actually her first time using a blood pressure monitor since her course just started in August, but she also remembered reading from her textbook about the symptoms.

“To be honest, I just went outside of what I knew to check her blood pressure,” Wright said. “I was really nervous because I’ve never used the machine before.”

Jennings said she was “very grateful” to the youngster and dismissed any concerns that it was Wright’s first time using the equipment.

“But it didn’t show,” Jennings said. “She just jumped in and did what she had to do and didn’t hesitate at all. She really handled it like an old pro.

It was Jennings’ second visit since last month to praise and support Wright for her heroism. Two weeks ago, she came to the career center with a card and candy for the teenager.

“Then I came over here and gave her a basket of candy,” Jennings said, “because she was so sweet, I said, ‘Let me throw some candy.’ I also had a thank you card in it. But whatever I had in that basket wasn’t enough because I was so grateful that she was in the right place at the right time.”

Jennings came to the visit with a bouquet of flowers and balloons, acknowledging Wright as special and that it was her day in the spotlight.

The 17-year-old said it was a “great feeling” to get all the attention, which she honestly didn’t expect.

But Wright admitted that she loves the attention, the conversation and bringing “light into the room.”

“When I was in middle school, if there was something we had to do with speaking in front of the room, I was always put there,” Wright said. “I’m a social butterfly.”

Her career goal is to be a registered nurse and she feels that her personality will be an asset in the job.

“When people are sick, they don’t want boring nurses who just come in, give them the medicine and walk out,” she said. “They need someone to talk to them and motivate them to get up. If they want to go dancing in Hollywood, that’s where we’ll go.

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