For most students, a typical day in high school means homework, sports practice and exams. But for Bryan Canty, his day was anything but typical when his medical training was put to the test after he came across an injured classmate in the high school gym.
Bryan Canty is studying emergency medicine at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School in Antioch, California. In December of 2018, Canty saw his principal running across campus toward the school gymnasium. Remembering lessons from his instructor that emphasized, “Be the first to help” during an emergency, Canty followed quickly in his principal’s footsteps.
What Canty found in the gym was Freshman Ariah Royal unresponsive in the middle of the basketball court. Canty immediately began to assess the scene and went through the steps of emergency medical care in his head. Canty explained that it felt as if time slowed down, almost as if he was moving in slow motion. This perceived time delay allowed Canty to go through a detailed process of how to deal with head trauma and injury that he had learned in class. He stabilized her head, in the case of a spinal cord injury. He then put Ariah through a series of stimulus tests. This allowed him to remain aware of her responsiveness.
Canty remained attentive to Ariah as they waited for first responders to arrive to the scene. Maintaining control of the situation, Canty provided a thorough report about Ariah, her state of declining responsiveness, and an accurate description of how the injury occurred. The first responder team was impressed with the professionalism and thoroughness of the student.
Canty has said repeatedly, “I just did what I had to do.” After seeing her return to school after an extended stay in the hospital Canty was happy to report, “All I know is I did something right when I saw her walking and talking.”
The emergency response is what Canty refers to as a testament to his training. He began course work in emergency response at Dozier-Libbey High School and continues to educate himself in the public sector. He currently holds the title of Certified First Responder and aspires to continue his medical training upon graduation from high school. He feels an overwhelming gratitude that he has found his professional passion so young and can see firsthand the impact of his training. His career path includes becoming an EMT, to a full paramedic, on to nursing school to finally find his home as a flight nurse.
Bryan Canty knows that his training and his willingness to put his skills into practice saved his classmate. He does not feel like he needs special recognition for what he did because he did exactly what his training prepared him to do.
The Antioch School Board awarded Canty with a Certificate of Appreciation in honor of his role in saving Ariah.