Middle School student who learned CPR through Parks and Rec. comes to her mother’s aid
-By Cary Shuman
A 12-year-old Winthrop Middle School high honor roll student who learned CPR in a Winthrop Parks and Recreation class is being credited with starting the process that helped her mother recover from a serious medical situation inside their family home on Undine Street.
Taylor Thomas, who acquired cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques in a babysitting class taught by Roseann Mazzuchelli, used the lifesaving procedure on her mother prior to the arrival of Winthrop firefighters and emergency medical technicians on the scene.
In the December 27 incident, Judy Thomas fell out of her bed and banged her right elbow hard against the side of the bed. She immediately lapsed into a state of unconsciousness.
“That’s all I remember,” said Thomas. “I guess I passed out. The next thing I remember is that I heard Taylor crying and my husband, Paul, saying, ‘honey, honey,’ and I look up and see firefighters standing in my bedroom.”
Taylor Thomas had quickly sprung into action, beginning to apply CPRtechniques as her mother was lying on the floor in the bedroom. Her father, Paul, played a key role and immediately called 9-1-1.
“I guess Taylor took it upon herself to start CPR,” said Judy Thomas. “I think that put me on the way to recovery. She was so upset seeing me lying there, but she knew exactly what to do. She did what she needed to do and put her fears aside and that’s what I’m so proud of. Also, the Winthrop firefighters and the EMTs were awesome.”
Judy Thomas was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where she underwent X-rays and a CAT scan. Doctors determined that because of the force of the strike to her elbow, her body had shut down. She has since received a clean bill of health.
“It was a freaky thing – scary,” said Thomas. “But I’m back to normal now.”
Taylor Thomas explained how she was able to react so calmly in the face of an intense, emotional scene involving her mother’s health.
“I just knew what to do and she began to wake up as I did CPR,” said Thomas. “When you do CPR, you have to open their mouth and give them air and then you have to press down on their chest. I feel great that everything turned out well.”
Taylor thanked Mazzuchelli for her instruction. “I paid attention in the class and I thank her [Mazzuchelli] for teaching me [CPR],” said Taylor.
Mazzuchelli, a certified CPR instructor, said that at the end of the Parks and Recreation Department’s six-week babysitting course there is a CPR and first-aid training session.
“What I stress to my students is that if you don’t help the person that you’re taking care of, nobody else is going to,” said Mazzuchelli. “You are the first person there and you have to put aside your fears. You have to have confidence in yourself and you have to take control of the situation. I am extremely proud of Taylor. She saved her mother’s life.”
Mazzuchelli remembers Taylor’s presence in the CPR class. “I know Taylor well. Her father was my son’s coach. Taylor did very well in the CPR practical test. No one leaves my class unless they pass the test and I am comfortable that they know what to do in the event of an emergency.”
“I’ve always been proud of Taylor, but what she did here is awesome,” said her father, Paul Thomas.
Taylor Thomas completed a week she’ll remember the rest of her life by attending a Carrie Underwood concert with her close friend.