Niles school board recognizes student who performed CPR on choking man

Published 9:52 am Thursday, February 23, 2017

On Monday night, the Niles Community School board of education recognized a Niles High School student who applied the skills she learned in Professional Health Career Academy classes to aid someone’s life.
Eighteen-year-old Lauren Douglass, of Niles, had a break between classes on Feb. 2 and decided to drop by Brew Ha Ha for a hot chocolate.
Douglass said as she began to hand her money for the drink to the storeowner, Joyce Bashara, when she heard her shout “he is choking.”
Douglass then saw that Joyce’s husband Michael Bashara was chocking on a muffin and was beginning to turn blue.
Thinking on her feet, Douglass first called 9-1-1 while Joyce performed the Heimlich maneuver.
Douglass then took over and checked Michael’s pulse finding none she began performing CPR. Douglass performed CPR for six minutes until the paramedics arrived.
Michael Bashara, who was also suffering from vascular dementia, died later that day from complications related to the illness.
Douglass’ instructor, Angie Mann, commended her student for stepping up to help the man at a critical moment.
“This was not something that was easy to do,” Mann said. “I am extremely proud of her.”
Despite training, there is never a way to truly prepare for a difficult situation like this, Mann said.
Douglass’ calm, cool manner helped her to execute what she had been taught, even though the situation warranted a lot of stress.
“That is something that is not easy to do,” Mann said.
As she reflected on that day on Monday, Douglass said it would continue to remind her of the importance of health care work.
“It reassured me that this is what I want to do,” Douglass said.
In the future, she said she hopes to see more young people like herself get involved in programs like Professional Health Career Academy.
After high school, Douglass will continue her studies in nursing at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
“I am really grateful to be trained in CPR and first aid. I wish more students were interested in the field,” Douglass said.