Dudley staff save substitute teacher

Pictured from left are Curtis McMillan, Sarah Galindo, Frances Freeman, Desiree Acevedo and Christopher Holland. The four staffers worked together to perform CPR and use a defibrillator to help Freeman on Feb. 17.

GREENSBORO — It was a bad situation that got worse.

First, substitute teacher Frances Freeman suffered a seizure while eating lunch in the cafeteria with a class at Dudley High.

School nurse Sarah Galindo and coach Curtis McMillan determined her pulse had weakened and she needed immediate medical care.

Then, as students left the cafeteria, Freeman went into full cardiac arrest.

She survived the Feb. 17 episode thanks to Galindo, McMillan, nurse and medical careers teacher Desiree Acevedo and coach Christopher Holland.

The four worked together to perform CPR and then use a defibrillator located at the school. By the time emergency responders arrived, she had a faint pulse again.

On Tuesday, the Guilford County Board of Education recognized the four as employees of the month at the board’s meeting.

“We are very grateful to you for what you did on that day when action was needed and you were ready,” board chairman Alan Duncan said.

Typically, the board honors just one employee per month. Dudley Assistant Principal Christopher Scott nominated these four staff members from among all those who helped Freeman in some way that day, based on their teamwork and responsiveness in a critical situation.

“As EMTs were leaving for the hospital, they were amazed at how well the Dudley High School staff had operated,” Scott wrote in his nomination.

Freeman also attended the meeting and got a chance to shake hands with board members.

Holland spoke on behalf of the group of rescuers. He said it’s great for Dudley school staff to be recognized for something like this, but there’s one thing that’s really important to them.

“When we saw Ms. Freeman and all got to give her a hug, that’s all that mattered to all us,” Holland said.

Contact Jessie Pounds at (336) 373-7002 and follow @JessiePounds on Twitter.

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