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USC student receives national award for gallantry

27 Sep 2018 | Campus News | IMC Staff / Shalon Kerr

USC student receives national award for gallantry

Sariah Estrada, a 17-year old first year nursing student at the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) has received a national award. The Hummingbird Medal - Bronze was given to Estrada for her gallantry and loyalty and devotion to Trinidad and Tobago on Monday, September 24, 2018, when the country celebrated its 42nd year as a republic. 

In a brief conversation, Sariah Estrada recalls the events that led to her nomination for the award. She stated, that having been led by the hand of God, she participated in a basic life support-training course offered by the North Central Regional Health Authority on July 8, 2018. 

Five days later, on July 13, 2018, Sariah and two cousins left home to visit the Marianne Beach located in Blanchisseuse, a small community on the north coast of the island. Upon leaving the beach Sariah and her cousins noticed a young man facing difficulties at sea. Immediately, one of her cousins sprang into action and swam to the young man’s rescue. When the two return to the shore, the young man was unresponsive and in dire need of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 

Sariah, having recently acquired the skill of administering CPR, sought to help the young man regain consciousness. After several attempts, she was successful and the young man’s life was saved. 

President Paula-Mae Weekes, second from left, speaks to Sariah Estrada a student at The University of Southern Caribbean, after presenting her with the Humming Bird Medal (Bronze) for "Gallantry" during Monday evening National Awards Ceremony at NAPA, Keate Street, Port of Spain. Looking in from right are Chief Justice Ivor Archie, and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. Estrada used CPR to save a drowning man at Marianne beach in July. (Express Newspapers, Tuesday, September 25, 2018 – Ishmael Salandy)

Sariah summed up her experience by saying “This was an act of humility as I saw someone in need. It is such a great feeling to know that I was able to give someone a second chance to live. I would like to encourage young people to always do well, keep positive and strive for excellence. ” Sariah’s award, the Hummingbird Medal (bronze), is a state decoration of Trinidad and Tobago. The medal is 4th highest award bestowed on citizens for loyal and devoted service beneficial to the state in any field, or for acts of conspicuous gallantry or other outstanding humane action.