A local person has provided a gift to the Mason County School system that can potentially save many lives.
Kay Truesdell, a retired nurse from Meadowview Regional Medical Center, with the help of her family and the hospital, gathered supplies to create first aid kits for every teacher in Mason County. Truesdell said she was moved to create these kits due to the many shootings that have plagued local schools over the past several years.
“My grandson and my granddaughter go to school. One is in intermediate and one is in middle school, and we were talking about the shootings in Florida. I asked Jackson, ‘do you think it would be a good idea to make up a kit for the high school and the middle school?’ He said, ‘Really, I don’t know Nanna. I’ll ask my principal and see what he says.’”
It wasn’t until late May into early June, that Truesdell contacted Superintendent Rick Ross about making and distributing the kits. Truesdell offered to raise the money and compile the first aid kits along with giving them out to the schools.
“He said, ‘sounds like a good idea to me,’” Truesdell said, referring to her conversation with Ross. “I said, ‘how many students do you have in all of the schools?’ He said 175.”
Truesdell also wanted to include teachers at St. Patrick School, which added another 22 students. The goal for Truesdell and her family was to assemble around 200 first aid kits
With the goal set, now the task of gathering the supplies was next on the list. That would become a brief hurdle to bound over however, as Truesdell soon found a solution in Meadowview Regional Medical Center’s CEO Joe Koch.
“I was working the health fair, and I was introduced to Mr. Koch,” Truesdell said. “I was talking to him, telling him what I was thinking about, and so he said to have a meeting with him. So I got my grandson and we had a meeting with him.”
During that meeting, Koch told Truesdell that the hospital would supply the materials for the first aid kits.
Truesdell’s kits comprise of sponges, Kerlix wraps, a tourniquet, towels, gloves, tape, gauze and thick bandages. She said her grandson and granddaughter helped in assembling the kits. Being a retired nurse with around 40 years of experience, Truesdell knew what the kits would need.
Sherry Dixon, ED Director at Meadowview Regional Medical Center who had worked with Truesdell, said these kits could be very useful in the unfortunate event of a shooting incident, and could be the difference between life and death.
“I think the main idea with the kit was to make sure that if there was a shooting at the school, that they would have resources available to them to help with the bleeding until EMS could arrive,” (she) said. “Of course, if there’s multiple shootings, then each teacher is going to have enough—the tourniquet can stop bleeding, they have bandages and gauze that they can hold pressure to be able to help control the bleeding because it only takes minutes if they’re hitting the femoral artery for them to bleed out.”
Dixon also pointed out the ease of which the first aid kit can be used, stating there being an instructional guide to using a tourniquet.
Truesdell said the kits can last anywhere up to 10 years with proper care, though she and (This lady) hope that they never have to be used.
“Lord only knows, we hope that nothing ever happens, but at least they would have something to help if some kid did get hurt,” Truesdell said.
Dixon said she and Meadowview Regional Medical Center plan to conduct similar initiatives to schools in the surrounding counties, in an effort for the hospital to have more of a presence in the community.