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Salem, NH School Nurse Who Revived Custodian: ‘It Was A Miracle’

By Paul Burton, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Paul Burton (Photo: WBZ-TV) Paul Burton
Paul Burton is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. Burto...
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SALEM, N.H. (CBS) – A elementary school nurse says she is thankful that her school was equipped with an automated external defibrillator after reviving a custodian who collapsed today in the hallway near her office.

Walter Haigh Elementary School nurse Tara Hayes said she was in her office when she saw the school’s custodian collapse.

“It was scary, and it was someone I work with and love,” Hayes said.

As the 62-year-old began to lose consciousness, paraprofessional Jomarie Curtis carefully lowered him to the floor in the hallway right next to the nurse office.

“It was the most intense thing I’ve ever seen,” Curtis said.

As Curtis laid the man down, nurse Hayes grabbed the school’s automated external defibrillator (AED) and began to resuscitate him.

“I put it on him, shocked him, and then did CPR, then shocked him again. When I shocked him the second time, his color came back and he knew who I was,” Hayes said.

The school received the AED from the Salem Rotary Club about six years ago, but this is the first time it’s been used in a real-life situation.

“It was a miracle,” Hayes said.

The custodian is recovering in the hospital.

Hayes said she’s been a nurse for 18 years and had never encountered any situation as serious.

“I think every school should have and be trained to use AEDs,” Hayes said.

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