A GW medical student worked with bystanders and EMS to help save a woman’s life in March.
By Ashley Rizzardo
Pennsylvania Avenue traffic was running its usual afternoon pace on March 28 when what looked like a minor fender bender turned out to be a real medical emergency. Angelia Boddie, a 20-year veteran of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, had gone into cardiac arrest while on duty behind the wheel.
Fortunately, she was just moments from the George Washington University Hospital. Pedestrians called 911 and began administering CPR to revive Ms. Boddie. She was taken to GW Hospital, where she was placed on life support.
First-year medical student Brandon Glousman was one of the civilian responders on the scene. He performed CPR on Ms. Boddie, who survived. Mr. Glousman and other responders were recently honored for their life-saving efforts.
“It is amazing how all of this turned out,” he said in an April press conference. “I am proud to have been a part of it.”
Mr. Glousman is considering a focus in cardiology or emergency medicine and said helping Ms. Boddie gave him more drive to consider emergency medicine.
A Georgetown medical student, a Boy Scout troop leader and an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner were also on the scene to help Ms. Boddie.
Angelia Boddie (left) had the chance to meet the bystanders who helped save her life earlier this year when she went into cardiac arrest while driving. (Photo: Sarah Miknis, SMHS Communications and Marketing)
Less than a month after the accident, GW Hospital and D.C. Fire and EMS hosted a press conference to highlight the rescuers’ heroics and celebrate Ms. Boddie’s recovery. It was also the first time Ms. Boddie came face-to-face with those who helped save her life.
She offered her thanks to those “good Samaritans” and her own colleagues who helped her.
After two decades of devotion to saving lives, she said it was remarkable to see a group of bystanders and professionals take quick action to save her life in return.
Bruno Petinaux, co-chief in the section of emergency management and associate professor of emergency medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and chief medical officer at GW Hospital, was the attending physician in the ER on the day Ms. Boddie’s accident. Dr. Petinaux said Ms. Boddie is lucky these pedestrians acted as quickly as they did.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the actions of these bystanders were truly the most critical reason why Officer Boddie is still alive to this day,” he said.
Gregory Dean, D.C. Fire and EMS chief, recognized the responders and presented them with Cardiac Arrest Save Coins, which are given to department members and bystanders who act to return a pulse to someone who has lost it.
“It takes a village to take care of each other, and this is a great example of that,” Mr. Dean said.