York College Nursing Student Saves Man’s Life in Red Lobster Parking Lot
Sarah Friedman ’23 just started her waitress shift at a Red Lobster in New Jersey when she saved the life of a man who had overdosed.
Sarah Friedman ’23 stood in the parking lot with adrenaline pumping through her body when a police officer looked at her and said, “You saved that man’s life.”
The York College of Pennsylvania Nursing student had just started her Saturday waitressing shift at the Red Lobster in Bridgewater, New Jersey, when someone ran into the restaurant and asked if anyone knew CPR.
Friedman, who had just completed her CPR certification during the spring semester at York College, ran out into the parking lot to see if she could help. On the ground was a man who was already turning gray in the face.
“I didn’t even hesitate,” Friedman says, recalling the events that took place on June 5. “I remember my professor telling me, ‘You never know when you’ll be in a position where you’ll need this.’”
Putting her skills to the test
Friedman admits there have been times when she’s sat in class, taken another test, and wondered how much more she has to learn before she can start putting her skills to use. It doesn’t matter how many times she’s practiced things on a dummy in the simulation labs, she says. She’s always wanted to get closer to the real thing—to helping someone.
As she administered CPR to the man in the parking lot, she realized how all the things she’d learned at York College were coming into play. Years of learning those skills were being put to work.
While she performed CPR, someone else called 911. A police officer arrived on the scene and was able to give the man oxygen while she continued pumping. Minutes later, when an ambulance arrived and administered Narcan, a nasal spray used for a suspected opioid overdose, the man regained consciousness.
Afterward, Friedman’s manager asked if she wanted to go home. “I decided to stay and complete my shift,” she says. “When I’m working in my field, I’ll have things like this happen, and I’ll have to keep working. I’ll have to learn how to get through those moments.”
Friedman won’t ever forget the experience she had this summer. She was able to speak to the man afterward and learn a little about his life.
With clinicals ahead of her, Friedman hopes to continue to put into practice the things she’s learned at York College. She later hopes to pursue a career as a Nurse Practitioner.
“It’s great to see that what you’re learning can impact someone’s life,” Friedman says. “As I grow as a medical provider and a woman, I want to remember these experiences that shaped me. It’s because of what I know and have worked so hard to learn that I can make a difference.”