Teacher on Lunch Break Saves Woman's Life

By DNAinfo Staff on March 14, 2012 1:44pm

Cassandra Byrd-Scolaro, 34, used her first-responder training to perform CPR on a woman passed out in the bathroom of a Brooklyn bathroom.
Cassandra Byrd-Scolaro, 34, used her first-responder training to perform CPR on a woman passed out in the bathroom of a Brooklyn bathroom.
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DNAinfo/Sonja Sharp

By Sonja Sharp and Mary Johnson

DNAinfo Staff

BROOKLYN — What began as a typical lunch inside a Polish restaurant in Brooklyn turned into a dramatic rescue effort when a fourth-grade teacher stumbled upon an unconscious woman sprawled on the floor of the restaurant’s bathroom.

Cassandra Byrd-Scolaro, 34, who teaches at P.S. 17 in Williamsburg, stopped into S&B, a Polish restaurant on Bedford Avenue, on her lunch break on Wednedsay and ordered a chicken Caesar wrap.

As Byrd-Scolaro waited for her food, a waitress opened the door to the bathroom to find a woman lying unconscious on the floor.

That’s when Byrd-Scolaro sprang into action.

The woman wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. Byrd-Scolaro, a teacher for the past 10 years, has undergone first-responder training but had never used it until Wednesday afternoon, she said.

Byrd-Scolaro immediately started chest compressions on the woman and kept it up for roughly three minutes, before the woman finally regained consciousness.  

“In real life, this is the first time I've done it," Byrd-Scolaro said after the incident.

“I was very happy for her,” she added, “[and] that I was there to help.”

A fire department spokesman, who received a call about the incident just before noon, said the victim was a 25-year-old woman.

Officials said she was conscious when she was wheeled out of the restaurant, it was not immediately clear what caused her to pass out or what condition she was in. The fire department said she was taken to Woodhull Hospital.

Byrd-Scolaro and a coworker said they were heading back to work after the incident—but not without a reward.

The restaurant gave Byrd-Scolaro her lunch for free.

Byrd-Scolaro performed CPR on the victim before emergency crews arrived at the S&B Restaurant on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
Byrd-Scolaro performed CPR on the victim before emergency crews arrived at the S&B Restaurant on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Sonja Sharp

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