RI school nurse saves student’s life

Dawn Seitz, a school nurse and teacher at Exeter West Greenwich Junior/Senior High School, saved the life of one of her students, 15-year-old Joe Slater. (WJAR)

People who work with children in schools are lifelines.

That’s literally the case with NBC 10’s latest Golden Apple Award recipient.

Dawn Seitz, a school nurse and teacher at Exeter West Greenwich Junior/Senior High School, was nominated by Nichole Pichette, a fellow teacher.

Pichette wrote that Seitz is a treasure. She teaches first aid and CPR -- and one day, her skills were put to the ultimate test.

While Seitz has seen students through it all, from skinned knees to painful breakups, no one can top the story of 15-year-old Joe Slater.

"This lady means everything to me because I wouldn't be here talking to you if it wasn't for her,” Slater said.

Slater’s brush with death happened in the school gym,

“All I remember is playing basketball,” he said.

He suddenly, without any prior heart problems, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

"No pulse. I said, ‘This is real. Grab the AED and call 911.’” Seitz said.

Then, Seitz used the automatic defibrillator and shocked him back to life.

"Thank you, you are my actual savior,” Slater said while hugging Seitz, who responded by hugging him back.

“That's my reward right there, standing there,” she said. “It's awesome.”

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