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Polysomnography Student Derrick White Provides CPR to Woman at Charlotte Airport

By Rob Goldberg Jr.
PCC Media Relations Director

Derrick WhiteFor Derrick White, a second-year PCC polysomnography student, a return trip from Florida to drop his son off at science camp took a turn for the surreal as he waited to board his plane at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on June 29.

A Snow Hill resident who works as the night manager of a group home for mentally-disabled adults when he’s not learning about sleep studies, White says he was passing time in the airport’s food court when he noticed a middle-aged woman seated nearby “jerk” several times before toppling from her stool. He says he and a young lady – who, as it turns out, was a nurse – immediately sprang into action, asking bystanders to call 911 as they rushed to the woman’s aid.

“… We began performing two-person CPR for just a few cycles before the lady started to breathe and show proper vitals,” the 41-year-old White recalled.

“All of a sudden, she began to go into grand mal seizure for several minutes,” he continued. “The other good Samaritan and I both remained there—not holding the lady down but trying to ensure that she didn’t hit her head on anything or injure herself until the EMTs could arrive.”

White, who received his most recent American Red Cross CPR certification through PCC, said EMTs did respond, and the woman was eventually able to get to her feet and rest on the side of a gurney under her own power.

“I went to check on her before I boarded my plane and she offered her thanks for our quick response,” he said, adding, “I didn’t do it for any kind of accolade or praise, and I would do it again, if the need presented itself.”