Last Friday, December 16th, seventh-grader Isaiah Griffin addressed his school health officials displaying signs of food poisoning. However, his condition was deteriorating at an alarming rate. Carrie Stephenson, a school nurse, who was on duty at the time of the incident, noticed Isaiah’s odd behavior and requested an automated external defibrillator (AED) machine while she urged another one of her colleagues to call for an ambulance.
Isaiah Griffin was rushed to the hospital, where doctors found a blood clot only one inch away from the brain stem. He went under the knife the same day. According to the doctors, the seventh-grader had a 50/50 percent survival chance. Nevertheless, on Monday, December 18, the boy finally opened his eyes. The hospital’s medical staff members at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis told the reporters he was in good condition and recuperating well.
Carrie Stephenson has been a school nurse for the Jackson-Madison County School System for approximately three years. However, according to her statement, she has never seen a case like Isaiah’s before. Nevertheless, thanks to her quick thinking, the boy was able to survive.
Isaiah Griffin’s mother believes that if it wasn’t for Ms. Stephenson, the boy’s family would be planning a funeral now, rather than a celebration.
Carrie Stephenson says she took after her mother, Betty Roe, who also works as a nurse. She said that while the school staff was waiting for the ambulance to arrive she tried to keep her voice as steady as possible not to alarm her colleagues and reassure the boy everything was going to work out. Ms. Stephenson said she treated the boy as if he was her own son.
After Isaiah Griffin woke up on Monday, the school nurse together with her mother visited the seventh-grader in the hospital. The boy’s mother said that Ms. Stephenson even offered to pray with her by Isaiah’s side, which moved her deeply. While Ms. Griffin sees Carrie as a hero, the school nurse says she did not do anything more than just her job. Carrie Stephenson also received a great deal of praises from the coordinated school health administrator for JMCSS, Anette Wilson, as well. Ms. Wilson said in her statement that not everyone is trained to deal with such a situation. She added that only thanks to Ms. Stephenson’s set of skills and intuition, the seventh-grader will be able to celebrate his 14th birthday on Friday, December 23rd.
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