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Life-Saving Skills Learned at School Make a Difference in Real-Life Emergency

Anais Almonte is a senior at John I. Leonard High School who was taught CPR from students in her school’s medical academy program. She had no idea that training would come in handy when she helped save a baby’s life.

Almonte was grocery shopping one day when she noticed a mother desperately trying to save her baby from choking. Almonte quickly jumped into action, using the life-saving skills she learned at school.

“I grabbed the baby who was purple and started to do back compressions,” Almonte said. “I then flipped the baby and started front compressions. After the second time, the baby started to regain consciousness.”

“This is a great success story and I am so proud of her,” said Jackie Burgess Malone, a teacher in the Medical Sciences program. “It’s wonderful that one of our students was able to remember what we taught her, and provide help in this emergency situation.”

Almonte learned hands-only CPR in her biology class, a requirement in the Palm Beach County School District. She is grateful she was at the right place at the right time. “I do not feel any different, I feel I did what I had to do,” she said.

The Medical Sciences Honors program at John I. Leonard High offers an innovative, integrated learning environment that provides students with the medical skills and training necessary to succeed in post-secondary healthcare education and to successfully transition into the healthcare workforce. The skills that students acquire in the program also have valuable real-world application, regardless of a student’s educational or career aspirations.

“It is very important to know what to do in an emergency situation,” said Tania Martinez, a teacher in the Medical Sciences program. “My goal was to educate as many people as we can in our County in order to have a safer, more prepared community. Now that it has become a graduation requirement, it makes it easier for us to do so.”

Almonte demonstrated bravery in this situation, and that desire to serve inspired her decision to enlist in the Marines after she graduates. Her actions solidified the importance and value of CPR instruction in schools.

“I feel that everyone should be educated on how to perform CPR,” Burgess Malone said. “You never know when you may have to help save someone’s life.”