Belinda Williams, RN

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AJC Celebrating Nurses: Belinda Williams

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

As a nurse, Belinda Williams knows that even on her days off, it’s game on.

In October of last year, she and coworker Stephany Melton, a respiratory therapist, met for dinner at a local restaurant. That’s when they began noticing a commotion at a nearby table.

Williams noticed a 17-month-old baby in its mother’s arms. The child looked limp and before long the mother said, “My baby’s not breathing.”

Soon Williams and Melton jumped into the fray. After requesting a 911 call and an AED, the nursing duo realized the baby was unresponsive. Williams couldn’t find a pulse and the child’s lips were blue.

Williams opened the baby’s airway while Melton began compressions. After asking the child’s parents about the baby’s health, they learned the child was ill with a fever and had been vomiting. Williams assessed the situation and believed the baby had suffered a seizure due to the illness.

Without the aid of an AED —the restaurant didn’t have one— Williams and Melton continued CPR until the child regained consciousness. Paramedics arrived and rushed the baby to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

“Belinda Williams was not only in the right place at the right time,” wrote coworker Gail Klein, who penned Williams’ nomination letter, “but had the training, assessment skills and knowledge that they needed to save this baby. And she cared enough to jump into action.”

The child was treated and survived thanks to Williams and Melton’s lifesaving work. When the manager of the restaurant asked the nurses if there was anything they could do, Williams suggested they get an AED.

Yes, Williams never knows when she might have to wear her nurse’s hat. But she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s such a blessing for us to have the skills and the knowledge to do what we did and what we do on a daily basis as nurses,” Williams said.

For more on celebrating nurses, visit www.ajc.com/ajcjobs/celebrating-nurses/.