Three New UTHSC Nursing Grads Commended for Fast Response to Medical Emergency in Chicago Airport

Kaiser cropped
Amy Kaiser, DNP

Three recent graduates of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing faced an unexpected test shortly after graduation, and were commended for fast action in performing CPR and assisting with a defibrillator on a man who collapsed in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Kelsey Matheney cropped
Kelsey Matheney, DNP

Amy Kaiser, Kelsey Matheney and Kortney Stinson completed their Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees in late May. As they headed for the airport exit while in Chicago to attend a review for a certification exam, they saw a man collapse.

“Without hesitation, they instinctively began assessing the situation and immediately rendering aid,” representatives of Chicago’s Heartsave Program later wrote in a letter to Donna Lynch-Smith, DNP, assistant professor in the UTHSC College of Nursing. Heartsave is an automated external defibrillator program in Chicago’s airports.

“They truly represented the field of medicine in a most positive light,” Ellen Demertsidis and Lourdes Rodriguez wrote on behalf of Heartsave. “They are the epitome of their chosen fields.”

Kortney Stinson cropped
Kortney Stinson, DNP

The three took turns performing CPR and helping as a defibrillator was attached to the man and two shocks were delivered. They remained on the scene and continued to help until the Chicago Fire Department arrived.

“This speaks to the high quality of our students,” said Wendy M. Likes, PhD, DNSc, APRN-BC, FAANP, dean and professor in the UTHSC College of Nursing. “We are developing leaders who will jump in and save someone’s life even when not on the clock, because as nurses we are never off the clock. This is exactly what we prepared them to do.”