Driver Linda Wilson was recognized by the McKinney Independent School District Board of Education for resuscitating a special education student three weeks earlier who had stopped breathing on her bus. Wilson performed CPR on 14-year-old passenger Dakota when she had a seizure and stopped breathing. Dakota suffers from scoliosis, and has only one kidney, which is polycystic. She is unable to walk or talk and is deaf. Because of Dakota’s medical and physical problems, the seizure was not unexpected, and our driver was trained on what actions to take to get help.
Dakota had been a regular passenger on Wilson’s bus for special need’s children for three years. A former emergency medical technician and a Durham driver for the past seven years, Wilson was ready when Dakota suddenly stopped breathing. She immediately started chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, continuing CPR until the child began breathing again. “I started a series of chest compressions,” Wilson said. “After the third round, Dakota just gasped, and that was music to my ears.” Paramedics transported the Evans Middle School student to McKinney Medical Center, where she recovered from the incident.
The young girl’s family has expressed their gratitude for the bus driver who went into overdrive, above and beyond her daily duties to save a life. “Oh, I can’t even explain how I feel, and how appreciative I am for what she did,” said Dakota’s grandmother, Betty Cox.
Wilson’s layered experience dates back to the 1980s, when she served 10 years as an EMT in Marble Falls outside of Austin. She started driving buses there in 1993 and moved to McKinney in 2006. She shifted from transporting general education to special education students about four years ago - a challenge she’s grown to cherish, she said. “These kids become like your own,” she said. “It can be very scary at times, and you have a lot of responsibility. Whatever is thrown at you, you try to deal with it.”
At a McKinney ISD School Board meeting, Wilson received a certificate as well as a standing ovation for her life-saving actions. She was also recognized by Durham supervisors at the company’s monthly safety meeting in McKinney. The district conveyed that Linda is a true professional who cares so deeply for the students she serves, and because she acted quickly is a big reason that student is alive today.
Linda was featured in several newspaper and TV reports, including The Dallas Morning News, CBS11 News Dallas and McKinney Courier-Gazette.