A series of misdirections and mistakes led Fiordaliza Marte, an assistant principal in Brooklyn, to save a man’s life, leaving the victim thanking the Lord and at least one person calling the situation’s positive conclusion “a God thing.”
Marte, 42, an administrator at PS 23, wasn’t on her typical route home Dec. 2.
A co-worker had asked for a ride, and Marte obliged. After dropping that person off, she realized she was accidentally driving back to her school rather than heading home, the New York Post reported.
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“It was a totally different way,” she told the Post. “Not the way I usually get home.”
And that’s when Marte saw the unthinkable — a two-car crash.
She immediately saw two teenagers who were screaming and yelling and seemed confused; an adult man was sitting motionless inside his car, with the airbag deployed. Marte immediately parked, got out, and jumped into action.
“His body was not moving at all,” she said of the victim in the car. “I thought he had passed away.”
The teenagers — who were the driver’s sons — told her their dad was Melvin Martinez, a fellow assistant principal whom Marte knew. After calling 911, Marte got in the car and started performing CPR — a difficult task considering Martinez’s position in the vehicle.
“I was on the passenger seat, giving him chest compressions from the side,” she told the Post. “Never in my lifetime did I think I would be placed in that situation.”
Martinez started responding to the lifesaving measures, and his life was saved — something that might not have happened if not for the series of driving mistakes and changes to Marte’s routine that day.
Marte believes she was “just meant to be there,” and Marcos Bausch, another assistant principal at Queens Metropolitan High School and a friend of Martinez, said he believes “it was a God thing” and “not just a string of random events.”
As for Martinez himself, the now-recovered assistant principal told CSA News, a newsletter for the principal’s union, that he is eternally grateful — and gave credit to the Lord.
“I would like to thank God for placing Assistant Principal Marte at the scene of our car accident. She performed CPR on me until EMS arrived. She saved my life,” he said. “She is my family’s guardian angel. She stopped at the scene of the accident, not knowing that the two teenagers were our sons. She is the true definition of a good samaritan. I am forever grateful for what she did for me and my family.”
Marte said some were shocked she performed CPR without thinking about COVID risks. But she said she had “no hesitation.” The assistant principal believes it’s essential to do the right thing, especially in an era where so many are focused on themselves.
“I think training young people in CPR and teaching the mentality of doing the right thing — that’s really important during this time when people are taking care of themselves,” she said.
It’s a positive ending to a difficult and potentially deadly situation. And it’s a reminder that we’ll sometimes find ourselves in the right place at the right time as the Lord guides us. Read more about the story on the Post.
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