At its public meeting Wednesday, May 8, the Health Care District Board of Commissioners recognized school nurses Helene Schilian and Chelsea LaVeigne for the lifesaving medical care they provided to student Nehemiah Derosier on Thursday, March 7 at Emerald Cove Middle School in Wellington.
Around noon that day, the school nurses were working in the school health room when they were alerted by a student that Derosier had collapsed in a school hallway and needed their help.
The nurses ran to the 11-year-old’s side, quickly assessed him, and found him to be totally unresponsive. He had no pulse and was not breathing. They began administering emergency care in unison.
“I positioned myself at the student’s head to manage his airway, and Nurse Chelsea positioned herself to do compressions,” Schilian said. “We worked together and a piece of gum flew out of his mouth. He began breathing and was able to answer questions before the paramedics arrived on campus.”
After a brief hospitalization, Derosier was able to return to school and is doing fine. “Without the nurses, he’d be gone,” said Wisner Derosier, the boy’s father. “I thank God for the school nurses. They knew what to do.”
Dr. Ronald J. Wiewora, chief executive officer of the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, congratulated the nurses on their quick response. “We are very proud of our nurses and the lifesaving emergency care they provided to this student,” he said. “The positive outcome underscores the critical value of the Health Care District’s School Health program, which staffs more than 200 registered nurses in the county’s public schools who keep over 170,000 students healthy and ready to learn.”