KIPP students jump in to help during two medical emergencies

As seen on KXAN here.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two students from KIPP Austin Collegiate are being praised after they jumped into action to help their teachers during two separate medical emergencies.

The school offers a number of pathways for students, like business or robotics, but it’s the lessons that Brittani Love is teaching that are credited with saving two lives.

“Currently we are doing compressions,” said junior Everardo Tovar, as he demonstrated how to perform CPR.

Students learn a number of different lessons, like how to take blood or put in an IV. They also learn how to read vital signs.

“Ever since I was a little kid I knew I was interested in the medical field,” said Tovar.

Love says many of her students have aspirations to enter the medical field.

“I am really excited to bring these career options to my students,” said Love.

The lessons she has been teaching all year recently came in handy, when a teacher noticed something was off.

“As I was teaching, I noticed I was saying things incorrectly,” said Meredith Prukop, a special education teacher at the school. “I was putting words in different places and calling my students the wrong names.”

With the nurse not at school, Love was the next available option to check things out.

“So, when this emergency situation arose our teachers reached out to me next,” said Love.

Not having all the details, she sent Tovar to take some vitals and figure out what was going on.

“He checked my blood pressure,” said Prukop. “It was not high enough to be in the emergency range yet, but it was high.”

Tovar didn’t stop there, he also listened to her heart beat to make sure she was OK. That’s when he noticed something was off — an irregular heart beat.

“When I heard it, it was a really loud pause then it was silence,” said Tovar. “That indicated to me that her heart was overworking itself.”

Realizing things were much more serious, Tovar had his teacher, Love, stop by to check things out, and that’s when they determined she needed to go to the hospital.

“I said, ‘OK, I am going to the emergency room,’” Prukop said.

A few hours later, Tovar got an update.

“She had told me I had basically saved Mrs. Purkop’s life because the medical staff said she was in jeopardy of a stroke,” said Tovar.

The lessons learned in class don’t stop at this emergency though. Back in November, another teacher suffered a medical emergency and a student stepped up to help.

“I was inside and I was talking to a friend over the phone and suddenly I don’t remember what happened,” said Alejandra Barrios who works for KIPP Austin.

Barrios tells KXAN she suffered a seizure and doesn’t remember much, but she does know she’s thankful for Doris Mena, the student who helped her through it.

“It was such a coincidence that we had already learned about the epileptic seizures and how to address them,” said Mena.

Mena says when she saw Barrios sitting up against a wall, she helped by using the information she learned that day in Love’s class.

“There is a specific position they are supposed to be in to open the air way,” said Mena.

Both students tell KXAN they hope to pursue careers in healthcare.

This site is registered on as a development site.