‘My hero’: Woman says local nurse’s quick thinking saved her life

HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Monday was Larissa Lee’s 24th birthday — one that she almost didn’t experience.

“The last thing that I remember is writing my daughter’s appointment on the refrigerator, and the next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital on a ventilator,” Lee recalled.

On Jan. 4, Lee had a seizure while calling Akron Children’s Pediatrics in Warren. She was scheduling an appointment for her baby daughter just after she talked to her mother Renee Lee, who lives next door.

“I said, ‘All right, give me a call,’ and she didn’t call me back right away, but I thought she just got tied up with the baby,” Renee said.

Audrey Vaughn is a nurse at Akron Children’s Pediatrics in Warren. She was on the other end of the call when Larissa had her seizure.

“I could hear what I thought maybe was seizure activity, and so I kind of muted my call, and my coworker was sitting next to me, and I said, “I think this mommy there passed out or is having a seizure,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn then called 911 and stayed on the line with Larissa until first responders arrived.

Eleven minutes was all it took from the start of her call with Larissa until first responders reached her.

“I actually ended up kind of thinking, “Oh my gosh, I should probably call [the father of Larissa’s child]. I’ve just sent the police to his house,’” Vaughn said.

Larissa woke up three days later in St. Joseph Warren Hospital.

“Whenever I woke up, first of all, the only thing I wanted to do was come home to my daughter and my cats,” Larissa said.

Renee and Larissa are both grateful for Vaughn’s quick actions.

“I appreciate the fact she noticed something was wrong. She could have simply said, ‘Oh, she’ll call back,’” Renee said.

“She saved my life. She will forever be my hero. She means the word to me. Like I said, if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be able to be here,” Larissa said.

Vaughn said she was just doing what anyone else would do.

“It’s just another reminder of why we do what we do, not necessarily saving the life every day, but you know, taking care of people and making sure their families are whole,” Vaughn said.

Just 11 days later, Larissa says she feels great and her medications are working. She would like to thank Vaughn, all of her nurses in the hospital and the Lordstown Fire Department for helping keep her alive.