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Teens give girl life-saving CPR on school bus

Gwinnett County high school student Ismael Olvera doesn’t feel like a hero, but his younger sister would disagree.

Ismael and a classmate, Rebecca Goodridge, are being credited with using CPR to save the life of his sister, Amayrani.

“I love my brother so much,” Amayrani, 15, said Monday.

Amayrani, a freshman at Berkmar High School, wasn’t breathing when it was time for her to get off the school bus Thursday afternoon. Ismael, 16, also a freshman at Berkmar, had already left the bus when Goodridge and the driver alerted him to return.

Ismael said he didn’t feel his sister’s heartbeat. Amayrani was in and out of consciousness. He did mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on her while Goodridge, 17, a senior at Berkmar, did chest compressions.

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“Please wake up! Please wake up!,” Amayrani recalled hearing her brother yell.

“I was freaking out,” Ismael said. “I was crying.”

Ismael and Goodridge continued the CPR until paramedics arrived. She was taken to a nearby hospital and released. She’s not entirely sure what prompted the medical emergency, though she said she did not eat lunch that day.

The three students returned to school Monday for the first time since Thursday’s harrowing incident. They spent a part of Monday afternoon at school retelling the story to reporters.

Gwinnett County school officials shared the story as an example of the importance of CPR, which Berkmar High principal Al Taylor said is part of the school’s health curriculum. Ismael said he’s been learning CPR since middle school. Goodridge said she’s been learning CPR from her mother, who is a nurse, and at school. Goodridge recently received a refresher course, Taylor said.

Ismael and Goodridge refused to call themselves heroes for their actions. Ismael said the experience has brought him and his sister “a little bit closer.”

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