Hanan Ramadan was on her way home from her mosque when she came upon a minor car crash. It looked like a simple fender-bender, but something about the way bystanders were crowded around the open car door made her stop.
“Something didn’t seem right,” said Ramadan, who is working toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing at The University of Toledo. “I just wanted to make sure everything was OK. Honestly, I thought maybe she had a broken arm, or she hit her head and there was a small cut.”As Ramadan got closer, she realized the situation was far more dire — and she quickly sprang into action that likely helped save the woman’s life.
The driver’s face was blue. Ramadan, who also works as a nursing assistant in The University of Toledo Medical Center Emergency Room, looked for a pulse — there wasn’t one.
Ramadan’s training took over. She asked the person who had called 911 to put the phone on speaker and briefed the dispatcher on the situation. Ramadan told them she was basic life support-certified and asked for permission to begin CPR.
Unable to remove the driver from the car, Ramadan lowered the seat back as far as she could and started chest compressions. A police officer soon arrived and helped her safely get the woman onto the ground, where she could continue administering chest compressions.
“It was just us for a good five to 10 minutes before the ambulance showed up and the medics took over,” Ramadan said. “We were all very exhausted but doing our best.”
Sylvania Township Police Sgt. Lee McKinney, who was the first officer on the scene and helped get the victim out of the car, praised Ramadan for her quick thinking and readiness to help.
“The fact that you’ve got somebody who’s willing to be a good Samaritan, recognize a problem, and has some ability to jump in and help, that’s tremendous,” McKinney said. “Those few seconds were irreplaceable. She did an outstanding job in getting involved.”
Ramadan later learned the woman, Deborah Teachout, had been having chest pains and was on her way to urgent care when she lost consciousness.
Teachout’s sister, Bambi McNamara, credits Ramadan and another bystander, Jill Lynam, with helping to save her life.
“We will be forever indebted to Hanan and Jill for saving my sister’s life,” she said.
McNamara said Teachout has regained most of her strength after a week in rehab and should be back home soon.
Ramadan credits her training from the UT College of Nursing and hands-on experience at UTMC for giving her a clear mind in what could have been a moment of chaos.
“It was like muscle memory to me. I just instinctively knew what to do. All of the courses I’ve taken and all the training I’ve gone through, everything my instructors have told me for years, it all came together and just made sense to me in that moment,” she said.
“It made me confident. I knew this is what I’ve been taught and trained to do for years now — this is what I’m supposed to do, and this is what is going to help this person.”