A Massachusetts woman ordered a pizza on a normal Friday evening, she had no clue that the kindness and quick thinking of her Uber would change her life that night.
Caryn Hebert Sullivan called in for a late night dinner on February 11, and DoorDash driver Sophia Furtado got the request to an address in the small community of West Island Fairhaven, located on Buzzards Bay, around 20 miles southeast of Fall River.
“It was a normal night for me,” Furtado told CNN Thursday, “I was almost at the end of my shift.”
When she got to the house around 10 p.m., she spotted Sullivan laying down on the ground outside, bleeding from her head. Sullivan, who had a past arm injury and a bad knee, had been waiting outside for the pizza.
As she turned, she recounted, her knee and arm gave out. She fell and hit her head on the way down.
"*" indicates required fields
“I just remember laying on my driveway thinking ‘This is pretty much over,'” Sullivan recalled. “I was laying there and saw a lot of white clouds.”
Furtado has past clinical knowledge from her time preparing as an Emergency Medical Technician, however she failed the National Registry test. She saw Sullivan’s blood hardening and assessed she had been lying outside for about 15 to 20 minutes.
“Caryn was unresponsive, and her eyes kept rolling to the back of her head,” Furtado said, “I felt like I was going to lose her.”
Sullivan’s husband Robbert had been snoozing inside the house, but awoke to Furtado’s calls for help. She advised him to get some supplies as she dialed for authorities. According to Officer Jillian Jodoin of Fairhaven Police Department, Furtado talked with the dispatcher while delivering help.
“At that moment Sophia became a part of our team to aid Caryn.” Jodoin told CNN, “I asked her if it was possible for her to keep stabilizing Caryn’s neck to keep her spine safe, her answer was, ‘I’m not going anywhere.'”
Sullivan said she was in the hospital for three weeks after the incident, and experienced two severe brain bleeds. Robert and Veronica, her daughter, were next to her the entire time. At one point, she said both of them were waiting until 2 a.m. to hear if she’d make it.
After her time in the medical clinic, Sullivan returned home in March. “I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t write, I could barely walk,” she said. While she was deemed completely recovered at the end of March, she’s still progressing on some things, after losing over 50% of her hearing, and is now able to drive short distances.
Regardless of the frightening experience, Sullivan and Furtado acquired a close friendship during the trauma.
“I am so thankful for her, she’s my guardian angel,” Sullivan said, “Thank God she was there, if she wasn’t there, I’d be dead.” They have both met each other’s families and Sullivan even gave both of Furtado’s children Easter gifts.
Furtado was also recognized at a Wednesday ceremony where DoorDash awarded her a $1,000 educational grant.
“We are incredibly grateful to Ms. Furtado for stepping in during a critical moment and are relieved that the customer has since safely recovered.” A DoorDash spokesperson told CNN, “Ms. Furtado’s care and quick response were nothing short of heroic and we are honored to have been able to show our appreciation for her tremendous efforts.”
Fairhaven police additionally gave her a lifesaving grant.
“Sophia sprang into action, alerted Robert, activated the emergency response system, implemented materials needed, rendered aid, and helped officers streamline information gathering. She saved a life.” FPD told CNN in a statement.
The acknowledgement really shocked Furtado.
“I was not expecting it at all,” She said, “I would’ve done that for anyone.”
Furtado had previously been a DoorDash driver and picked up the job once more in January. She said she hopes to utilize the cash toward more EMT school when her family becomes more monetarily steady. She and Sullivan added they will continue to keep in touch and will meet up again soon.