DETROIT - Wayne State University medical student Melanie McQueen was in the right place at the right time to take a big leap into her field of study: Saving lives.
McQueen recently was shopping at a Walmart in Taylor when she happened to come across a startling Halloween display, or so she thought.
"I could only see the lady's head and it looked like a Halloween decoration at first because it was very blue," McQueen said.
The head she saw turned out to be real and attached to a 50-year-old woman who was in real trouble.
"She was pulse-less at the time," McQueen said.
It was a Monday and on the previous Friday McQueen had been taught a technique all future doctors must learn.
"We had gone through what's called ACLS training -- advanced cardiac life support training. We only had two days of instruction. The entire time I was thinking, 'This is so different than the manikin," she said. "So I started doing chest compressions. We did bagging inhalation. We defibrillated her three times. The way you know you're doing it right is when you start breaking ribs. I broke a rib and I remember thinking, 'Oh my gosh. That was a rib.' It was just like an eerie feeling ... all in the middle of Walmart. But, eventually she had a pulse."
McQueen still has a year left before taking the doctor's Hippocratic Oath.
She already has a life saved under her belt before she puts the word doctor before her name.
Copyright 2012 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.