Officials honor students at Triangle Elementary School

Third-grade class and school nurse saved substitute's life


MOUNT DORA, Fla. – A third-grade class received a certificate of recognition for their help in saving their substitute teacher on Friday, according to the Mt. Dora Police Department. 

Students in a Triangle Elementary School class came to the aide of their substitute teacher on Feb. 25.

News 6 learned the name of the grateful substitute is Martha Bellew of Tavares. 

Bellew collapsed in class due to cardiac arrest and the students calmly responded by activating the panic button, while others went to get the school nurse and a teacher in a classroom close by. 

“We’ve never seen children of that age react so calmly and do all the things necessary to get the substitute teacher help as quickly as possible, says Chief Stephen Kerkhof, Mount Dora Fire Department. 

The nurse was able to respond quickly by beginning CPR and sending for an AED unit, officials said. 

“We were all so proud of this class and the school’s nurse that we couldn’t wait to give them a certificate of appreciation; they deserve recognition for a job well done,” Kerkhof said. 

Bellew is also appreciative for the quick action of everyone at Triangle Elementary School.

In a statement to News 6, she wrote,

I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Mrs. Wellon's 3rd grade class at Triangle Elementary School in Mt. Dora, after I collapsed there on Feb. 25,2016. Although I do not remember anything that happened after I collapsed, I was told by my doctors that if not for their fast action, quick thinking, and calmness that enabled first responders to administer first aid to me quickly, I would not be here today.  As soon as my doctors say that I am stronger, I will be going back to Triangle to personally thank all involved that morning.

-Martha Bellew