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New Prairie Student Rises to the Challenge in Real-Life Emergency

(New Carlisle, IN) - A New Prairie High School freshman showed no fear in trying to save a man’s life on Christmas Day.


15-year-old Brilie Gaddis was heading out of town with her family, when they stopped at a gas station on State Road 2. Inside, a man, later determined to be overdosing, was unconscious on the floor.


Brilie’s parents called her inside to help, knowing that she had just learned in school how to respond. Brilie says she just pushed her fear aside and went to work.


“He was lying in the first aisle,” Brilie recounted. “I checked his pulse, and he was not responsive or anything.” The victim’s brother, who was nearby, asked her to help. “I began the checking of the pulse, scanning his chest, and I started CPR.” For Brilie, who just learned CPR a few months ago, the experience was a first, but she handled the incident like a seasoned professional.  According to Brilie, because of the man's size, pushing on his chest was difficult. “So I had the brother do mouth-to-mouth,” she said, “and I instructed him how to do it, with tilting the head and plugging the nose.”


Brilie continued rescue efforts for a full seven minutes until paramedics arrived. Unfortunately, even the professionals were unable to save him.


Still, Brilie’s mother, Traci Gaddis, was proud of her daughter’s leadership. “Without hesitation, this kid, with her brand-new white pants on, jumped to the floor and controlled every bit of that situation,” Gaddis said. “It was insane. No intimidation whatsoever. She took control of the whole situation, and it makes me cry, thinking about it. She did everything she knew to do.”


So, after this experience, would Brilie be more confident next time? Her answer, not surprisingly, is level-headed. “I think I would still be just as nervous,” she reflected, “just because when you have the chance to save someone, you never know the outcome."


Brilie learned CPR and other life-saving skills at New Prairie by participating in Health Occupations Students of America. Likely, more life-saving opportunities will come her way. Someday, Brilie says, she hopes to be a neurosurgeon.

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