11/30/10 03:58PM
By Aaron Keck

It was an ordinary day at Cedar Ridge, until 17-year-old Natalie Hough went into cardiac arrest and collapsed in the girls’ bathroom.

As her mother Libbie describes it, the situation could have been tragic. Ironically even the nurse was off duty that day, at a lifesaving training workshop.

Fortunately, CPR-trained science teacher Allison Eaton was the right person in the right place atthe right time—and as Libbie Hough explains, she was only one of ten good Samaritans who came forward to help.

This Thursday, Hough will present Eaton with the National Lifesaving Merit Award, given to individuals who save the lives of fellow community members after receiving CPR training from the Red Cross.

But not every recipient has a story as incredible as this. “It was Spirit Week,” says Hough, “so (Eaton) was dressed as a knight. She was our knight in shining armor that day.”

And while Eaton is the only one from Cedar Ridge receiving the honor, Hough says it took the efforts of ten heroic people, working together, to save Natalie’s life.  But it was Eaton, a longtime friend of the Houghs, who took charge to help a student in need—and for that, Libbie Hough says, “she’ll just always have a great place in our hearts.”

The ceremony will take place on Thursday at 6:00 pm at the Central North Carolina Chapter of the Red Cross in southern Durham. Allison Eaton will be honored alongside Stephanie Terrey, Charlotte Pate, and Carolyn Bass—all ordinary individuals who stepped forward in a crisis to save a life.