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River Dell High Student Receives Red Cross Certificate of Merit

David Lo, lifesaver, red cross training nj

Above: David Lo (center) with his Certificate of Merit; L-R - Jocelyn Gilman, community chapter exec, Red Cross of Northern NJ; David’s parents Harry & Charlotte Lo; Carrie Jacobus, Chemistry teacher, River Dell High; Jeffrey Faber Red Cross Instructor.

“How can you ever thank someone enough? David’s valiant efforts saved my life.”

Seventeen-year-old David Lo of Oradell is a lifesaver.

On February 10, 2013, David and a few other River Dell High School students were in the chemistry lab during lunch period with their teacher, Carrie Jacobus. While taking her vitamins, Ms. Jacobus realized something was wrong and determined one of the vitamins went into her lung. She moved into an adjacent room for privacy and tried to cough up the vitamin. During the process, one of the vitamins moved upward and blocked her epiglottis.

Now unable to breathe, Ms. Jacobus somehow made her way back into the classroom and motioned for someone to call 9-1-1. David, having been trained with Red Cross Babysitter’s Training, recognized his teacher was choking and asked if he could help her. After she nodded, David performed abdominal thrusts which dislodged the vitamin enough to allow Ms. Jacobus to breathe again. An Emergency Medical Services team arrived and continued care. David watched as his teacher was then transported to a local hospital. She was treated and released hours later.

“How can you ever thank someone enough?” asked Carrie Jacobus. “David’s valiant efforts saved my life.”

During a recent school board meeting, American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey Chapter Executive Jocelyn Gilman and Health and Safety Instructor Jeffrey Faber presented David with the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit.

The Certificate of Merit is the highest award given by the American Red Cross to an individual or team of individuals who saves or sustains a life by using skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Health and Safety Services course. The certificate was signed by President of the United States Barack Obama, who is the honorary chairman of the American Red Cross, and American Red Cross Chairman of the Board Bonnie McElveen-Hunter. In addition to the Certificate of Merit, David also received a medallion and lapel pin.

“David’s actions exemplify the highest degree of concern one human being can have for another who is in distress,” said Gilman. “The American Red Cross is very proud of David and how he used the skills learned during a Red Cross Health and Safety Services course to save Carrie Jacobus’ life.”