Life-saving teen recognized by state agency
CPR saved his brother’s life
When Keymar Green’s 5-year-old brother stopped breathing in September, he sprang into action, saving his life with CPR. Keymar, a 15-year-old sophomore at Thomas Stone High School, was recognized for the heroic act by the Charles County Commissioners in February, and was once again honored on Wednesday by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. He was just one of six children in the state to be presented the “Right Care When It Counts” award by the agency.
Monique Woods, the boys’ mother, said her youngest son, Joshua-Jayden Johnson, now 6, is severely asthmatic. On Sept. 28, 2015, at 8:16 p.m. she called 911 after Joshua-Jayden began having health problems.
The situation quickly escalated, Woods said, when Joshua-Jayden stopped breathing. The 911 operator told the mother she would need to perform CPR until first responders arrived.
Woods told the Maryland Independent in February she had CPR training, but when it came to performing the life-saving technique on her own son, she froze.
“We got him on the floor. I got one breath into him, and then my brain couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t function, I couldn’t do anything else,” Woods said.
That’s when Woods’ oldest child, Keymar, stepped in. Keymar had just completed CPR training at Thomas Stone.
“My mom did one push, one breath, and then she couldn’t do it, so I came up to my mom and said, ‘I’ve got this. I just took a CPR course,’ and I started doing CPR until the police arrived,” Keymar said.
Keymar said he was calm through the experience.
“I didn’t really feel any emotion, I just did it,” he said. “It was just like CPR class. I knew I could do it.”
Keymar performed CPR under the direction of 911 operator Kelly Wilson until emergency first responders from the Charles County Emergency Medical Services and Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department arrived on the scene at 8:25 p.m. and took over.
First responders continued CPR until Joshua-Jayden had a pulse as the boy was rushed to the emergency room at University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center, said Jacob Hall, one of the emergency medical technicians who arrived on the scene.
“After we got a pulse back, we continued administering medications to help with his breathing,” Hall said, adding that Keymar’s CPR intervention was vital to his brother’s survival.
“Your chances decrease every minute CPR is not performed,” Hall said.
Woods said Joshua-Jayden continues to take medications for his asthma, but has made a good recovery.
Woods said she is extremely proud of her son and that he and the EMTs are heroes to her youngest son.
“I am just beyond happy and proud of him,” Woods said. “He was more than a big brother. He was [his brother’s] hero, he was my hero. He paid attention in class and listened and he remembered, and he did everything he needed to do. When I wasn’t calm and collected, he was calm and collected.”
Charles County Emergency Medical Services Chief John Filer said Keymar is an amazing young man.
“That’s one of the things that we preach, 911 can’t be everywhere all the time, and the more citizens who know CPR, the better it is for everybody. It’s really a testament how everyday citizens can stand up and be heroes,” Filer said.
Keymar said he is now considering the medical profession as a possible career choice, and urged other people to become trained in CPR.
“Learning CPR definitely helped save my little brother’s life,” he said. “I think it’s a very valuable skill to learn, period.”
“It’s very important that everybody in the community learn CPR,” EMT Nicholas Harrison added. “You never know when you might save a life.”