A DoorDash delivery driver in Massachusetts is being hailed as a hero after jumping into action to help an unconscious customer.
When Sophia Furtado arrived at Caryn Hebert Sullivan's house to deliver a pizza in February, she was getting ready to finish her shift for the night. But when she found the customer unconscious at the foot of her steps and bleeding from her head, she knew she had to help.
The 26-year-old, who had EMT training, then went into the house and called for Sullivan's husband, Robert, who was napping.
“She advised Robert what materials she needed. Robert was emotional as his wife was not responding to them, but Robert grabbed the supplies Sophia requested," Fairhaven Police Department officer Jillian Jodoin told TODAY Food in an email.
While on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, Furtado wrapped Sullivan in a blanket and used a towel to apply light pressure to the wound.
"While maintaining direct pressure she stabilized (Caryn) to protect her from a possible spinal injury until police units could arrive," Jodoin said.
When Jodoin and her colleague officer Benoit arrived on the scene, they were thrilled to discover that Furtado had an emergency medical background.
"At that moment Sophia became a part of our team to aid (Caryn). I asked her if it was possible for her to keep stabilizing (Caryn's) neck to keep her spine safe. Her answer was, 'I’m not going anywhere,'" she said.
Furtado stayed on the scene even after the paramedics arrived, and Sullivan ended up going into emergency surgery for two severe brain bleeds.
"The attending doctor was adamant that had there been any delay in her care she would have succumbed to her injuries," said Jodoin.
The officer is proud to have had the opportunity to work with such a thoughtful member of her community.
"What Sophia did that night is not something anyone would just do. We have all worked long enough in this field to have seen people walk away, run away, drive away, pull out their phone, or simply just watch," she said. "She saved a life.”
Furtado received an award from the Fairhaven Police Department and a $1,000 educational grant from DoorDash for her dedication to her community. A local emergency training school also discounted its EMT-Basic Course so Furtado wouldn't have to pay anything out of pocket if she decided to pursue it.
“We are incredibly grateful to Ms. Furtado for stepping in during a critical moment and are relieved that the customer has since safely recovered,” a DoorDash spokesperson told TODAY. “Ms. Furtado’s care and quick response were nothing short of heroic and we are honored to have been able to show our appreciation for her tremendous efforts.”
“I actually wanted to be an EMT but, unfortunately, with kids and life took its own course, I had to make that sacrifice,” Furtado told NBC affiliate WJAR.
As for Sullivan, she's just grateful that Furtado sprung into action to help her.
“She was my guardian angel,” she told WJAR. “If I didn’t have her, I’d probably be dead.”
“They awarded me $1,000 to go to an EMT school, so hopefully down the road I’ll be able to use that,” said Furtado.