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Brookside Community Health Center medical assistant Jasmine Perez walked into an exam room one day last month expecting to follow her normal patient care routine. As she was taking her patient's vital signs, something caused her to turn around. When she did, she saw that the patient's young child was choking on a lollipop and turning blue. Perez knew she needed to act quickly. Within seconds, she began performing the Heimlich maneuver on the three-year-old child.
Following the life-saving intervention, there was no need for additional medical support. The child's color returned, and she was in good spirits after drinking some water.
"I just wanted to save the baby," said Perez, of the situation. "I have kids of my own, so I know what that panic feels like." Added Pam Cormier, MSN, RN, nurse director at Brookside: "Jasmine is a great addition to the staff. She has made a huge impact in the short time that she has been here."
Cormier presented Perez with the center's first "Lifesaver Award,'' which consisted of a bag of lifesavers, in appreciation for her courageous action.
"Caring for patients is my favorite part of the job," said Perez. "I look forward to coming to work every day, and I always want our patients to leave happy."
Perez performed a similar life-saving act in 2011 when she resuscitated an elderly man on an airplane.