Corryn Smith – Staying Calm and Taking Action

Keeping a cool head doesn’t mean not having emotion; it means having just the right amount so you can do the best job you possibly can. Although we might think it’s easy to act calm and composed in tough situations, it’s even harder when you know a life is at risk. This was the case for ANS high school English teacher, Mr. Corryn Smith, who did not hesitate to jump into action when he saw a group of high school students searching for their classmate in the waters of Laguna de Apoyo on Sunday, March 26th.

Brandon Barmore, 17, was at the end of a a week-long school trip in Nicaragua from Sonoma, California, and was swimming with his friends in the lagoon. “They were not taking any unnecessary risks. He probably tried to swim too deep and swallowed water accidentally” recounted Mr. Smith. It was when Mr. Smith saw Brandon’s friends frantically searching for their friend, that he realized that the group of teenagers needed help. He ran to their aid. Mr. Smith dove up to 10 meters trying to find the teen, but it was one of Brandon’s friends who found him and brought him up to the deck.

“As soon as they brought him up I noticed someone started doing chest compressions and immediately I stopped them and cleared his airway. I continued the chest compressions until we got a pulse after 2 or 3 minutes. We started to breathe for him for about 20 minutes. Amazingly Brandon started breathing on his own after about 30 minutes when the Red Cross arrived and took him”.

Sadly, Brandon did not make it. He passed away in the hospital shortly thereafter due to amount of brain damage he suffered; however, the actions that Mr. Smith took in that moment of desperation were nothing less of heroic.

Events like these highlight the importance of CPR and keeping a cool head in panicked situations. This is why ANS will be implementing first aid lessons as our school considers that it is of utmost importance for students to learn these medical procedures in order to ensure that we live in a safe community.

Mr. Smith is pleased that ANS is implementing CPR training and first aid lessons. “It’s a great first step to raise awareness of the importance of CPR training, especially in a country like Nicaragua with many bodies of water and few resources” added Mr. Smith.

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1 reply »

  1. I was incredibly impressed by the calm, sensible leadership Mr. Smith displayed that day. He was part of a team of people who prolonged Brandon’s life until he could get to a hospital. Implementing first aid courses at ANS is a great idea, because you just never know when you’ll need to put this type of knowledge to use.

    Please keep Brandon’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

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