It won’t happen to me … I’m healthy!

Laura Zick and Jackie Ritter

Are you prepared to handle a personal emergency?

When Jackie Ritter, Corporate Travel Manager for Olympic Steel, saw her sister’s name appear on her phone, she thought nothing of it. They work together, after all – Laura Zick is the Executive Office Manager for Olympic Steel – and they talk several times a day. This call was different, though. When Jackie answered the phone, Laura was struggling to speak, repeatedly slurring the same few words. Jackie knew something was wrong.

Jackie jumped in her car and drove to Laura’s side. From the skills she learned in CPR, AED and First Aid safety training, Jackie recognized the symptoms. Laura was having a stroke.

“Here she is, the healthiest person I know, the one who works out on the treadmill every day,” said Jackie. “I would never have expected it, but I knew what was happening as soon as I heard her voice on the phone.”

Jackie called 911 and accompanied Laura to the hospital, where she was treated and has since made a full recovery. Laura’s doctors are still working to determine the cause of the stroke, but what’s clear is that Jackie’s fast response saved her sister’s life.

“It was scary, but I’m doing fine,” said Laura. “What I’m focused on now is making sure as many people as possible have the tools and information to do for others what Jackie did for me.”

Jackie Ritter is a hero. She saved her sister’s life by knowing the signs of a stroke and acting quickly. Now, the sisters want to make sure everyone is equipped to do the same.

Are you prepared to save a loved one’s life?

  • Read the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guide for recognizing the signs of a stroke and learn to act F.A.S.T. (Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, Time) and call 9-1-1 for emergency support.
  • Understand the warning signs of a heart attack from the American Heart Association.
  • Learn how to set-up SOS Mobile on Apple and Android devices. SOS Mobile is an app that allows you to send a distress signal that can be geolocated by emergency services. You don’t even need to speak. Just press the button, and help is on the way!

See more Core Values or News