Updated 08/16/2012 10:25 PM
Family Thankful For Students Who Acted Quickly in Canal Rescue
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
This week, the University of Rochester medical students who made the cut for Fall 2012 entered orientation.
"People who really want to help improve the health of our community and want to save lives,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
It was probably the most slow-paced week of their entire medical career; just learning the basics.
Then, life gave them a crash course in the moral oath they will take one day as physicians.
During a community service picnic, three first year U of R medical students ran to help a panic stricken father.
“Hearing his voice...We all started sprinting as fast as we could,” said Sarah Nevarez.
The double stroller holding his two eight year old, special needs children, had rolled into the canal.
“I knew right away I was going in once I saw them,” said Lindsay Wahl.
Sam was born blind and Saleh has special needs. Both children were strapped into the stroller. But with nothing to hold on to along the concrete walls, John Clanton could do nothing but try to keep their heads above water and wait for help.
"Once I started going down the ladder, I forgot about being afraid. When we were initially trying, I was nervous about how much we would be able to help,” said Bridget Hughes.
As rescue teams and police officers arrived on scene, Lindsay, who also has extensive lifeguard training, swam back with Sam while Selah remained unresponsive in the stroller.
"I was trying to keep the dad calm, give the daughter some CPR breaths. I think he felt better just knowing that his son was safe and people were coming,” said Bridget.
The students say John Clanton is the real hero here, but the fire rescue team says the outcome may have been different without the students instincts to help.
“They made a huge difference, in their survival, and their chances of survival. Any time anybody’s willing to risk, ante up, all in. That’s not the norm out there anymore,” said Murray.
Sam has been upgraded to satisfactory condition. Selah is still in guarded condition at Strong Hospital. Her mother posted on her blog that Selah is on life support.
In a statement, the Clanton family said: “It is a miracle that the right people were there at the right time and the children are alive today because of it."
"We have a lot to teach them, but apparently they have learned to save lives before we could teach them to do so,” said Mark Taubman, M.D.