Teenager uses shoelace, plywood to make tourniquet to save mom - WEEK

GLENBURN, Maine (WABI/Gray News) - A teenager put his emergency skills to the test last week after his mom fell and cut her wrist.

Kristen Iarrobino was walking down the stairs to her front yard last week when she slipped and fell, according to WABI.

“I looked down at my slippers and put my slippers on, and I thought I probably shouldn’t wear these because it could be slippery, and I thought well, I want my feet to be warm,” Kristen Iarrobino said.

Moments later, she was on the ground in her front yard bleeding from her wrist.

“I guess my hand went out, and the mug broke, and then I landed on the mug, so the pieces of the ceramic mug cut my wrist,” Kristen said.

After hearing her call out, her 16-year-old son, Cyrus Iarrobino, jumped into action.

“She’s holding her wrist and says ‘Call 911.’ And I was like, a broken wrist? And then I grab a towel and see how bad it actually is,” Cyrus said.

They knew it would take at least 15 minutes for an ambulance to get there.

After realizing how much blood there was, the dispatcher instructed Cyrus to find items for a tourniquet.

“I had these new shoes that I had just bought, like brand new, and I just ripped the strings right off them like some subconscious Hulk strength,” Cyrus said. “The guy on the phone kind of just said to tie it around and make it look like a clock. I watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy, but I had never seen one before, I know it’s not the same.”

When EMTs got to the house, they got Kristen on an IV and took her to the hospital.

After two surgeries, Kristen is back home and has a long road to recovery.

“In hindsight, you think about things like this like almost dying, and I think the number one thing I took away from it was just gratitude and feeling like I’m exactly where I need to be in life,” Kristen said.

Penobscot County dispatchers are happy to have helped.

“Of course, people call us at their worst moment, and so we need to be as calm as we can because calmness is contagious,” said Betty Stone, a supervisor at Penobscot County Regional Communications.

Kristen’s husband, Michael Iabarrino, was out of town when she fell.

He said he never thought he’d need to teach his military training to his children.

“There are plenty of people who have training and experience, or more training and lack of experience, and they are finally tested and they can’t perform. After the fact, it’s like all of a sudden discovering a super power,” he said. “You have something that is completely foreign to a lot of people and what are you going to do with that.”

The Iarrobinos are grateful for Cyrus’s ability to stay calm under pressure.

“I am not surprised at all that he was able to be there for me, and you know, essentially save my life,” Kristen said.

As for Christmas this year, the family joked everyone might be getting a special gift in their stocking.

“Everyone gets a tourniquet, at least a stick and shoelace for Christmas,” Michael said.

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