Nurse credited with saving student who had blood clot near brain stem

A Tennessee school nurse is being credited with saving the life of one of her students after the seventh-grader collapsed in the hallway from a blood clot near his brain stem on Friday, reported. When Carrie Stephenson heard that Isiah Griffin had gotten sick, she initially thought it was a case of the stomach virus like three other students at West Bemis Middle School had dealt with that week.

But when Stephenson saw the 14-year-old’s eyes rolling to the back of his head and that his vomit didn’t look normal, she sprang into action. She instructed another staff member to get the AED machine while telling another to call an ambulance. Stephenson checked Griffin’s pulse and monitored his breathing pattern while talking to him to keep him alert, reported.

“I honestly thought he was fixin’ to die,” Stephenson told

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Griffin was transported to Jackson General Hospital and then flown to Le Bonheur where his mother, Deborah, met them. Surgeons removed the blood clot and gave him a 50 percent chance of survival, but he woke up a few days later and has been showing good progress since, reported. He will undergo physical therapy to help he regain strength and correct his walk.

“Her thinking and everything she did for him saved his life, I tell you what,” Deborah told “We could’ve been planning a funeral, not planning a celebration. Believe me, she deserves the praise, baby.”

Stephenson said her training helped her to keep calm in the situation and that she hopes the incident encourages the district to have a full-time nurse in every school’s building.