Local veterinarian named Red Cross Medical Hero for potentially lifesaving act

MONETA, Va. – Carrie Turnbull’s work is all about saving lives — the four-legged kind.

But on New Year’s Eve that all changed.

“My receptionist for the day, Meagan, came back and said there’s somebody seizing and she said it’s a person,” Turnbull said.

A client, not a patient, collapsed in the Staunton River Veterinary Clinic’s waiting room — unresponsive, convulsing, gasping for air.

So Carrie sprung into action.

“Carrie did what Carrie does in any stressful situation and she remained calm and she delegated tasks to everybody who was available,” said Meagan Kogge, vet assistant at Staunton River Veterinary Clinic.

Carrie put her knowledge and resources to work, bringing in an oxygen machine, getting medical history from her husband and stabilizing her until first responders arrived.

“I deal with those types of things every day with dogs so there is that type of medical background so it didn’t make me panic, but at the same time, humans are not dogs and cats,” said Carrie.

Perhaps most impressive, people watching Carrie’s potentially lifesaving actions say she remained calm.

She’s now instilling that in her staff and taking it a step further — getting everyone first aid and CPR certified.

Something Carrie wants to pass along, and the Red Cross honors as heroic.

“It’s very nice as a veterinarian sometimes to get a thank you,” said Carrie.