WNYT.com

Troy nurse resuscitates girl before medics arrive

Posted at: 03/28/2013 5:33 PM
Updated at: 03/28/2013 5:41 PM
By: Abigail Bleck

TROY--Lynette Smith, an LPN,  has worked in a nursing home for 13 years.  But the first time she ever performed CPR was outside the Stewart's on Hoosick and Tenth Street.

"I started saying to myself 'Lynette, you can do this, you have to do this.' """sde""""

Had to because the person who needed help was a four year old.  Amy VanWert and her 19 year old mother, Sarah Bingham, were crossing the street when they were hit by a car headed East on Hoosick.  Lynette saw both their bodies fly through the air after impact and then hit the ground. 

"When I knelt over her I thought she was dead.  She had blood coming out of her mouth and blood coming out of her ear.  Her face was all scraped up. She just had a blank stare on her face," recalls Smith.

At that point, Lynette's knowledge and safety training became both a blessing and a curse.

"When I'm doing chest compressions I'm looking at the blood coming out of her mouth.   (and I think) 'How am I gonna do mouth to mouth?'  But when it came time, I just did it, I just did it."

Many believe yesterday's incident highlights the need for safety changes in the city.  And Thursday evening, City Council members will discuss the Complete Streets Resolution.  It was already on the agenda but is even more timely now. 

"This tragedy and these types of accidents should not be happening and they happen too frequently," says Rodney Wiltshire, a Democrat at Large on the City Council.

City Leaders may be thinking about the future.  But Lynette Smith is having a difficult time, understandably, dealing with the past. 

"I can close my eyes and keep repeating it over and over again in my head.   It's hard, really hard...I can see her face, I can see her hair, I can see her eyes...She's a baby.  I hope someone would do it for my children," adds Smith.

Smith says a civilian stopped to help her with CPR and then an off-duty fire fighter, Jason Lucey, before on-duty rescue workers arrived.

Smith was pleasantly surprised that a complete stranger sent her flowers on Thursday and her hope is to be reunited with the mother and daughter, when it's medically possible. 

A family friend tells NewsChannel 13 that VanWert had surgery Thursday afternoon but it's unknown at this point if she will be paralyzed.

According to the Troy Police Department the accident is being investigated but there are no charges.