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Vern Patrick Elementary School in Redmond can call two students and a parent heroes. All three of them took action when an 80-year-old Redmond woman experienced a medical emergency while driving Tuesday morning.
The woman, who has not been identified, almost hit second grader Noelani Cunningham and her brother, Carson Cunningham, on their walk to school.
“It looked like she was still alive, but then she didn’t move at all,” Noelani said. “When we thought she was still alive, her head went bobbling.”
After Carson warned his sister about the oncoming vehicle, the two children raised the alarm and told the first adult they saw, crossing guard Tammy Salka.
“Then we told the cross guard to make sure we could get someone who we know had a phone who could call the police or the ambulance,” Noelani said.
Their mother, Natasha Cunningham, could not be more proud.
“I work in health care so we’ve definitely stopped on the side of the road a couple of times to help someone before. And the fact that they knew how to do it alone without an adult to prompt them is just amazing to me,” Natasha said. “It’s definitely reassuring that I’m doing something right. I’m going to cry. I’m so proud of them.”
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Salka, realizing something was wrong, alerted nearby parent Nathan Veltrie, who jumped into action.
“Miss Salka yelled at me,” Veltrie said. “The neighbor threw a rock over the fence, a big huge rock.”
With that rock, he broke the back window of the car and go the woman out of the car.
“Her vein on her neck stopped pulsing, and I just kind of lost my mind at that point,” said Veltrie.
He started CPR until a medical professional stopped to assist. She told Veltrie she could take over, and he said he was “relieved.”
All of this, thanks to the kids seeing something and saying something.
We got news of the woman’s condition right before the interview. The school told us her niece reached out and said the woman is still in the hospital and is recovering from a few broken bones, possibly from CPR.
“I’m just glad she’s alright,” Veltrie said.
Someone at the school took the rock Veltrie used to smash the window and painted it gold — the school color — to thank him from his heroic actions.