Milford High School teacher Dennis “Jack” Candini praised his students for their quick thinking after he suffered a stroke in a Massachusetts classroom while teaching.
The 71-year-old Candini was substituting for another teacher for a food service class when he began having problems with his speech and was unable to speak, according to ABC News. (RELATED: Off Duty Cop Saves Baby’s Life)
“I was terrified,” 18-year-old senior William Pointer told ABC News. “But I didn’t second-guess myself. I needed to get someone who could help with the situation.”
Several students called 911 while Pointer ran out of the room to get another teacher, Pam Hennessy, to help stabilize Candini.
Candini had taught for 32 years at the school before retiring in 2004, ABC News reported. He works as a substitute now and is still involved in coaching school sports.
“I’ve no [prior] history of anything and I’ve been active all my life,” Candini told ABC News. “When [the stroke] was occurring, I was kind of in denial — that’s why the students, I give them so much credit. They trusted their judgement and they stayed on the situation.”
“Not being sure how to thank someone for saving your life, especially a group of young kids,” he continued. “What I’ve done through the principal and through the school, we are going to do a one-shot scholarship to a senior that hopes to have a major in the medical field as a token of my family’s gratitude. It will acknowledge the young people that got involved.”
Principal Joshua Otlin told ABC News the school was grateful to the students for their response and commended them for their courage under fire.
“We are very thankful that our students responded decisively and effectively in this moment of crisis,” Otlin said. “Any delays could have had catastrophic consequences for Jack, and our students’ decisions made all the difference.”
“While I am extremely proud of our students, I’m not at all surprised that they rose to the occasion,” he added. “As the principal, I have the pleasure to see and hear about daily acts of kindness and courage from our students and I know that we have a special community of compassionate young adults at Milford High School.”