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Nursing student takes what she learned in class, saves life the same day

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Posted at 11:08 AM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-07 14:27:04-04

PEORIA, Ariz. (KNXV) — Tiffany McFall, a nursing student in Arizona, is already saving lives.

She was working as a deck attendant at a swim school when she noticed someone in distress in the water.

“It’s crazy to think that the skills I learned here, I saved my best friend and coworker that day,” said the 18-year-old.

McFall says she noticed her friend suddenly in distress while she instructed a class.

“The signs that I saw were, she was twitching, I called her name like three or four times, she would not respond,” said McFall. “It was pretty scary.”

Turns out, she was experiencing a seizure while in the pool. With only seconds to act, McFall didn’t hesitate. She entered the pool and let her training take over.

“Her knees were up to her chest so I couldn’t pull her out,” said McFall.

Instead, she jumped in, got behind her and supported her weight under her armpits. Focusing on keeping her head above water and putting her in proper positioning to ride out the episode. She safely controlled her body until the seizure was over.

“There was one thing I did say, I will never forget it, it was, 'I’m here for you,' like I was not going to let her go under,” said McFall.

The perfect technique she carried out had been taught earlier that day at school.

“If I had not gone through the training, I probably would have frozen with anxiety,” said McFall.

“She came in the day after that happened and said oh my gosh, I have a story to tell,” said Tamara Greabell.

Greabell is Tiffany’s nursing instructor at West-MEC and says she was blown away by what she heard.

“It was amazing that an 18-year-old kid had the knowledge and skills and confidence to do that and maintain her composure, so I was really proud of her,” said Greabell.

Tiffany says her friend is now doing fine and it certainly brought them even closer.

“She gave me a hug. She was, it was emotional,” said Tiffany.

This story was originally reported by Cameron Polom on abc15.com.