Stayin’ Alive

By developer March 24, 2021
Just one day after her CPR training, a teen deploys what she learned and saves her best friend’s life.

Torri’ell Norwood is a 16-year-old aspiring nurse who took her high school’s CPR training course. In St. Petersburg, she and three others were driving in a car. According to Norwood, she saw a car coming very fast, and “we got hit, we had crashed into a tree.” The teens evacuated the vehicle right before it began to smoke up. As Norwood ran away from the car and looked around, she realized her best friend A’zarria Simmons, 16, was not with her.

Norwood ran back to the car, instinctively with no hesitation. Simmons was still in the back seat of the car, unresponsive with a deep head wound. She pulled Simmons out of the back seat, avoiding broken glass from the window.

Norwood pulled Simmons from the car, avoiding the glass from the broken window. She put her head to her friend’s heart and checked her friend’s non-existent pulse. Norwood immediately sprung into action, using her CPR training that she had received less than 24 hours ago. Thirty compressions and two life-saving breaths later, Simmons regained consciousness. Paramedics rushed Simmons to the hospital, where she got her forehead gash all stitched up. Simmons said, “I don’t remember the hit or anything about the accident. But when I woke up, I was in the hospital. I was in shock. I was trying to figure out how I got there.”

When asked about her heroism, Norwood stated, “I just saw my friend on the ground and knew what I had to do.” Simmons has extreme gratitude for her “bestie.” She completely credits her friend for saving her life. Simmons said, “I just feel like if it wasn’t for her I would have passed.” When asked about her best friend, Simmons also stated, “She will always help any way she can, to help anybody.”

Norwood and Simmons say that they are now friends for life. They’ve been friends since the seventh grade and are planning to both pursue careers in the medical field. Their bond is certainly unbreakable after such a life-changing event.