A relaxing day at a Florida spring training baseball game for Galen College of Nursing student Michelle Potter turned into a real-life test of her skills when she helped rescue a 75-year-old unconscious fan in the stands.
Relaxing after exams, Potter was attending a Philadelphia Phillies game in Clearwater with family and friends when she noticed the woman shaking and then losing consciousness.
The quick-thinking Potter asked a security guard to call 911 and took control, knowing there was no time to wait.
“I laid her down, and she started breathing again, which was a relief,” Potter said. “I kept on checking her pulse, and she didn’t have much of one. And when 911 emergency medical technicians were on the phone, I communicated everything that I was doing. I did everything that I learned in my classes.”
Paramedics transported the woman to the hospital, where Potter followed up with her new patient.
“I don’t think she realized the gravity of the situation until everyone told her,” she said.
Graduating next year from the Tampa Bay campus with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, Potter said she had been told several times that she would make a great nurse. She chose Galen for its innovative simulation labs. Even though Potter is interested in forensic nursing, she said she had tested 100 percent in emergency care in her exams. Nursing runs in the family as her sister is a nurse, and Potter has a strong background in science.
Potter says Phillies fans at the stadium have known her father by name, for his writing and analysis of the Phillies’ minor-league system. Now they know her, too.
“My dad said that people actually teared up afterward because of what I did, and now I’m not just known as ‘Steve Potter’s daughter’ at the baseball games,” she said, laughing. “I didn’t even notice people were watching me. I was just in a zone, trying to help.”