Caryn Hebert Sullivan called for a late dinner on February 11, and DoorDash driver Sophia Furtado delivered the order to an address in the small community of Fairhaven, West Island, located in Buzzards Bay, about 20 miles to southeast of Fall River.
“It was a normal night for me,” Furtado told CNN Thursday, “I was almost at the end of my shift.”
But when she got home around 10pm, she saw Sullivan lying on the ground outside, bleeding from the head. Sullivan, who had previously suffered an arm injury and a bad knee, was waiting outside for the birth.
Turning around, he says, his arm and knee gave out. She fell and hit her head on the way down.
“I just remember lying in my driveway thinking, ‘It’s pretty much over,'” Sullivan recalled. “I was lying there and I saw a lot of white clouds”.
Furtado has previous medical knowledge from his training as an emergency medical technician, but he had failed the national registry test. He noticed Sullivan’s blood freezing and estimated that she had been lying outside for about 15-20 minutes.
“Caryn wasn’t responding and her eyes kept rolling behind her head,” said Furtado, “I felt like I was going to lose her.”
Sullivan’s husband Robert was sleeping inside the house but woke up to Furtado’s calls for help. He told him to stock up on 911.
According to Fairhaven Police Department Officer Jillian Jodoin, Furtado spoke to the forwarder and provided assistance.
“Right now, Sophia has joined our team to help Caryn.” Jodoin told CNN: “I asked him if it was possible for him to continue stabilizing Caryn’s neck to protect her spine, her response was, ‘I’m not going anywhere.”
Immediately after, officers and doctors arrived. Furtado stayed with her until Sullivan was taken to the hospital.
Sullivan said she stayed in the hospital for three weeks after the accident and suffered two severe brain haemorrhages. Robert and her daughter Veronica have been by her side the entire time. At one point, she said they were both waiting until 2am to find out if she was going to make it.
Recovery, rewards and friendship
After her hospital stay, Sullivan returned home in March. “I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t write, I could barely walk,” she said. Although she is said to have completely recovered in late March, she is still working on some things, having lost 60% of her hearing, and she is now able to drive short distances.
Despite the terrifying experience, Sullivan and Furtado bonded with the trauma.
“I’m so grateful to him, he’s my guardian angel,” Sullivan said. “Thank God she was there, if she wasn’t there I would be dead.” They both met with their respective families, and Sullivan even gave Easter gifts to Furtado’s two sons.
Furtado was recognized during a ceremony on Wednesday. DoorDash awarded him a $ 1,000 scholarship.
“We are extremely grateful to Ms. Furtado for intervening at a critical time and are relieved that the client has recovered safely.” A DoorDash spokesperson told CNN, “Ms. Furtado’s care and quick response was nothing short of heroic and we are honored to have been able to show our appreciation of her for her tremendous efforts.”
Fairhaven police also presented him with a prize that saved his life.
“Sophia went into action, alerted Robert, activated the emergency response system, installed the necessary equipment, provided assistance and helped agents simplify information gathering. You saved a life ”. FPD told CNN in a written statement.
The award was a surprise for Furtado.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” he said, “I would have done it for anyone.”
Furtado was previously a DoorDash driver and returned to work in January. He said he hopes to use the money for more EMT schools as his family becomes more stable financially. She and Sullivan added that they will continue to stay in touch and plan to meet again.