Qwasie Reid was driving by an elementary school in Brooklyn when someone came bolting out of the front doors screaming for help. Some say it was a coincidence that Reid was in the right place at the right time because he was able to quickly respond to the child, but now he’s paying a dear price after what he did inside the school.
Little 7-year-old Noelia-Lisa Echavarria had been eating lunch when she began to choke on her food. Nobody inside the school called for help, even though the child’s air supply was completely cut off and she was turning blue. God put Reid on the road at the exact time a desperate person inside the school ran out to get help for the girl. Thankfully, Reid, who is an EMT, was there in a private ambulance, although his best efforts only provided her family a little more time with the girl, as she still remains brain-dead and on life support.
The EMT hit the brakes and responded to the informants plea by running inside to rescue the girl, using an oxygen mask and defibrillator to try and save her life. “She was blue in the face and lips,” Reid told WGN-TV. But his urgent actions were a little too late. The damage of not having called for help sooner had already taken place and she was unresponsive. The best he could do was artificially keep Noelia-Lisa alive long enough for her to get to the hospital and hooked up to life support.
Reid said that when he got inside the school, nobody was helping her. He was the first to provide the child much-needed assistance, but now he’s being punished for that. For unexplained reasons after this emergency, Reid has been suspended from his work as a paramedic. “I made a vow to save a life. If I had to do jump out of the ambulance again, I’d do anything,” Reid said, not apologizing for what he did even though he’s paying the price for doing the right thing. “I pray to God she feels better.”
What adds to the oddity of this situation is that in addition to Reid being suspended from work without specific reason, other than helping this child, is that nothing is being said about why the principal never called for help, according to the victim’s family. This child was in a room full of students and staff, and it took a random passerby to do a job that should have been in progress, or at least on the way, before Reid rolled through the neighborhood.
The Department of Education in New York is defending the staff, alleging they did what they were supposed to in that situation, which to the Echavarrias seemed like nothing. “Based on the information, we believe the principal and faculty responded swiftly to the emergency, notifying 911 and the student’s family immediately,” the Department said in a statement. “We continue to monitor this situation.”
While the district passively monitors this situation, or hides fault to avoid a lawsuit, Noelia-Lisa’s family is at their brain-dead daughter’s bedside deciding when to pull the plug, but “praying for a miracle” so they don’t have to make that final decision. Reid is without a job, but he has no regrets, since he acted with urgency and is a hero for trying to save this child’s life. His actions should be commended, not condemned by his employer who hired him on to do exactly what he did.