Missouri teenager Ava Donegan was recently honored by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office at a ceremony on November 17 for applying a tourniquet to a wounded officer’s arm.
Donegan, 17, had just gone shopping in Excelsior Springs on October 1 and was stopped at a busy intersection when a shooting broke out.
Excelsior Police Officer Andrew Stott, 23, was wounded in the arm and hand after being shot during a traffic stop and ran to the nearest car for help. That car turned out to be Donegan’s.
Donegan, whose father works as a local ICU nurse, said her “instincts kicked in, and I got out and helped.”
The teen managed to apply the tourniquet to his arm and then helped him call on his radio for assistance.
The same day, she cooperated with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in its investigation of the incident as a witness.
Coincidentally, Donegan is familiar with how to use tourniquets. She even keeps a first-aid kit and a tourniquet in her car, just in case.
“If you can know how to use one, or if you know how to put pressure on a wound to stop bleeding, you can save a life,” she said.
Excelsior Springs Police Chief Gregory Dull told ABC News that Stott has a “long road of recovery ahead of him.”
The officer had just gotten married a week before the shooting. He has since undergone multiple surgeries.
At the ceremony, Clay County Sheriff Will Akin awarded Donegan with a certificate of recognition, and Excelsior Springs Mayor Sharon Powell gave the teen a $2,000 scholarship.
She even received a standing ovation.
“What an incredible thing you did without regard for your own safety,” the mayor told Donegan.
For her part, Donegan called the ceremony “emotional” and was “very thankful for all the gratitude.”
The high school senior said she plans to pursue a career in medicine or physical therapy.