Traveling essentials for most are a phone charger, money and perhaps a refillable water bottle.
What about a mini first-aid kit?
Meadow Carman always has one in her backpack. It’s because her mother, Emily Carman, is a first-aid instructor and insists she carry a first-aid kit with her. The kit proved to be a lifesaver over the Christmas break, as the Pursuit of Excellence (POE) student athlete was traveling home to Barton, Nova Scotia via Toronto. Late for a connecting flight, Carman, 18, was running with a gentleman who wasn’t sure where he was going. As they sprinted to catch their flight, she noticed the man was having a hard time breathing. He eventually dropped to the floor.
“It was crazy. The worst and the best experience at the same time,” said Carman, who knew immediately what she had to do. “I took it out because it has the ventilator that you put over your face. I started doing compressions. I realize that I should have probably called 911 right away, but I knew that there were people at the end of the hallway. It was 4 a.m., there weren’t very many people around. I saw them start to run towards me. I was yelling for help as I was doing compressions. It all happened so fast and I was stressed out and I was sweating and crying, doing everything at the same time. This guy came running into me and body-checked me out of the way and took over.”
It was an incredible feeling for Carman, who was thankful the gentleman was okay. Carman, the Canadian Sport School Hockey League’s (CSSHL) Female Humanitarian of the Year Award winner, doesn’t wish that scenario on anyone. However, she is happy she was prepared for it. She felt shock well after and said the experience has given her a greater appreciation for life.
“You never know what could happen. It’s crucial to live life to the fullest,” she said. “Be thankful for every moment that you have.
“To accept that award means the world to me,” continued Carman, who thanked everyone close to her, including her billet family, for shaping who she is. “I’m so blessed everyday to wake up in the morning, have an opportunity to impact others and make a difference in the world.”
After winning the Humanitarian Award, Carman did her part to help POE win a second consecutive CSSHL Female Prep championship.
Not only will Carman jump in and perform life-saving procedures, she will team up with people to build homes. She spent a week in San Quentin, Mexico with POE making friends and helping families.
They worked alongside families to help changes lives. Carman was blown away by generosity from the family they were building a home for as the family purchased what they could from a convenience store to give to Carman’s group.
“It’s so inspiring to see people that literally have close to nothing and they are still willing to give,” she said. “Working alongside of them, and seeing the constant smiles on their faces the whole time, you just know that you have impacted their lives.”
Carman’s group also made a positive impact by giving kids colouring books and doing activities, such as playing soccer. One fun night turned tragic when a man collapsed and died of a heart attack while playing.
“It hit us very hard. Especially the organization of One Life One Chance. They had known that family,” she said. “It was definitely very hard for them.”
The next morning, Carman led a gathering in which she felt the need to speak. Her Christian faith took over while speaking to the people. Carman, who will study medicine at Brown University, has been influenced by her parents and brothers, Logan and Thian. Her parents are outgoing and want to make positive impacts in their community.
“I look up to them so much. They inspire me everyday with what they do,” said Carman, who volunteers as a camp counselor, with 4H and ME to WE. “Know that everyday you have the opportunity to make an impact in someone’s life.”
To close a gap in what she felt was segregation between POE and George Elliot students in Lake Country near Kelowna, she encouraged her teammates to join the Coyotes basketball team. She wanted to play a part in creating a new culture at school.
Her assistant coach, Jessica Campbell, said Carman is a remarkable individual.
“She is the epitome of what our league represents. What we aspire all student athletes to reach,” said Campbell, adding Carman carries a light with her, a spark of energy that lights up a room. “She shows that in her day-to-day efforts and the way she handles herself in all situations. How she approaches everyday and her teammates. I think that would be the one thing that separates Meadow, is the attributes she brings towards others and that she inspires others to push towards.”