Renton School District nurse honored for life-saving efforts

Keri Franklin one of 22 workplace heroes to be honored by an award from the state.

A Renton School District nurse has been honored by this year’s state Lifesaving Awards that recognize Washington workers who, in each case, acted quickly and compassionately to identify someone in jeopardy, assessed the situation — and acted.

Renton School District nurse Keri Franklin has received the Washington State Lifesaving Award presented by the Department of Labor and Industry. Franklin has been recognized for her work last school year in assisting an elementary student.

According to a statement from the school district, Franklin received a message that a student had fallen down the stairs and was having difficulty walking, as the first bell of the morning schedule rang.

The student reportedly told Franklin that earlier they had felt a sudden piercing pain in their right eye followed by a severe headache. The student’s condition quickly worsened with vomiting, drowsiness and weakening in the left side limbs.

Reflecting on a decade of experience working at Harborview hospital, Franklin’s experience with stroke patients helped her recognize the student was having a stroke.

EMTs arrived and considered everything from migraines to seizures. The Renton School District said Franklin’s intuition, however, pointed toward a stroke, which would be unusual for someone so young.

Franklin accompanied the student to Seattle Children’s Hospital. The student underwent surgery and was later transferred to Harborview for further care.

The school district attributed Franklin’s experience and professional training as key to saving the student’s life.

Twenty-two workplace heroes were honored on Sept. 27 for their inspiring stories of going above and beyond the call of duty while on the job to save a person’s life.

“When emergencies happen, whether in public or workplaces, people working nearby are often the first ones to help. Their quick actions can mean the difference between life and death,” said Craig Blackwood, assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries in a statement about the awards. “I’m inspired by their stories and reassured knowing there are workers like the people being honored who are willing to do what it takes to save a life.”