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Moravian College Nursing Student-Athletes Provide Care During Soccer Road Trip

Marlene Lopes and Hannah LaFronz Help Driver Though Emergency

Bethlehem, Pa., September 30, 2015— The Moravian College women’s soccer team was able to avert disaster with the help of nursing students and attentive staff on Saturday, September 19, when a bus driver experienced an apparent heart attack while transporting the team to a game at Johns Hopkins University.

Marlene Lopes

During the trip, the bus began swerving into different lanes and then abruptly pulled over to the side of the road. The soccer coaches, Jeff  Ykoruk and Kirsten Schall, contacted 911 and asked for the help of nursing students Marlene Lopes and Hannah LaFronz to assess the situation.

“Hannah took the patient's pulse and respirations, while I tried asking him questions about his past medical history,” said Marlene Lopes, senior nursing student at Moravian College.  “We tried to keep the patient calm by asking him to take slow deep breaths and letting him know that help was on the way.”

The students were able to assess the driver’s condition and relay it their coaches, who were then able to give the information to the 911 operators. They both worked to help the driver to breath by placing him in different positions and helping administer an inhaler.

Hannah LaFronz

“Being a nursing student was such a tremendous help in this situation. Our nursing program here at Moravian is so rigorous and challenging that I knew I had to trust my abilities and instincts and do the best I could,” said Hannah LaFronz junior nursing student at Moravian College. “I felt so proud to be a nursing student and be able to help the driver. We learn so many techniques and interventions for certain situations, but in a case like this you have to go back to the basics and remember how to keep your voice calm, be comforting to your patient, and do all that you can to help.”

The bus driver was taken by ambulance and the players were escorted by a police officer to a local diner. The bus company contacted another driver to return the players back to Moravian College campus. There is no current information of the driver’s condition, but with the help of nursing students and the Moravian College staff the best care was administered.

“I learned a lot from this situation. I learned that nursing is a full time job and you never know when you'll have to use what you learn in the classroom or on the hospital floor. I learned that even as just a third year nursing student, I am able to make a difference in a potentially life threatening situation,” LaFronz said.

Moravian College is a private coeducational liberal arts college, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. For over 270 years, the Moravian College degree has been based on a liberal arts curriculum where literature, history, cultural values and global issues, ethics, and aesthetic expression and the social sciences are infused with multidisciplinary perspectives. Visit to learn more.