13-year-old Chesterfield girl saves grandmother's life - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

13-year-old Chesterfield girl saves grandmother's life


The quick actions of a 13-year-old Chesterfield girl are being credited for saving her grandmother's life.

First responders are praising 13-year-old Salema Robinsont act of heroism. She and her 77-year-old grandmother, Betty Penn, share an unbreakable bond.

"Almost since I was born, she's spoiled me a lot," the teen said.

Now, it was Salema's turn to step up. It happened while they were at home.

"It almost sounded like she was snoring, but I know she doesn't snore so I looked over and see that she's slumped over. So, I try to shake her a little bit and call her name, but she doesn't respond," she explained.

Grandma was suffering respiratory failure.

"I was really worried," Salema said.

She quickly called 911.

"The operator told me to hold her nose and do mouth to mouth and almost breathe for her," she said.

 Salema did just that, stabilizing grandmother until first responders got there.

"Statistics show that 88 percent of people who need CPR go into cardiac arrest while they're at home," said Lt. Jason Elmore. He says the teenager's act of heroism is one every family should be prepared to do. He encourages everyone to become familiar with giving CPR.

"The person more than likely you're going to have to do CPR on is going to be someone that you love," Lt. Elmore added.
That's precisely the case here.

"Any complications could have developed and caused me to get sicker than I was and I'm very thankful for that," said Penn.

It's giving grandmother another reason to spoil Salema and hold her just a little closer. 

"I'm very gracious and very proud of her. She saved my life," Penn said.

But just don't call her a hero.

"My mom calls me her ‘She-ro'. I'm happy that everything worked out well," Robinson said with a smile.

Penn is now living in an assisted living facility, but that's not stopping Salema from her routine quality time. In fact, she visits everyday.

To find out where you can get CPR training near you, click here.

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