RU-N Men’s Volleyball Freshman Brendon Frank Helps Save A Life

RU-N Men’s Volleyball Freshman Brendon Frank Helps Save A Life

Freshman Brendon Frank came to Rutgers University-Newark for many different things – the Criminal Justice program, to experience something new and to play men’s volleyball for one of the top NCAA Division III programs in the nation just to name a few.

However, on Monday, Frank was also in the right spot at the right time when Helen Davis – a Rutgers-Newark employee – needed him to help save her life.

Frank went to eat at the Stonsby Commons & Eatery, swiping his RUconnection Card as he has since arriving at R-N for his freshman year, eventually sitting down to eat his meal.

He then heard a terrifying scream.

“Sometimes you hear playful screams or people yelling, joking around with each other, but this was something different,” said the Los Angeles, Calif. native. “I immediately knew something was wrong.”

Someone ran into the dining area and Frank headed over to see what the commotion was about, finding ‘Miss Helen’ completely limp and unconscious in her high chair where she had looked fine just moments ago.

“Just a few minutes prior it seemed like everything was okay,” said Frank. “She wasn’t sweating, or pale and seemed to be her normal self.”

The Rutgers-Newark freshman quickly went into action, doing whatever he could to help save Davis.

In a way, Frank had been preparing for a moment like this, going through the Boy Scouts of America program, earning Eagle Scout rank during high school and being a part of the program since kindergarten.

“It was something I wanted to do when I was a young kid, and I’ve always been a part of it,” said Frank. “I have a twin brother who also became an Eagle Scout during high school and it was a big part of us growing up together in California.”

Frank had unfortunately experienced a similar situation on a camping trip several years back as part of the program. He and several others found one of the fathers chaperoning the trip on the ground unconscious and he remembers being incredibly scared while watching the situation.

“As soon as I came across Helen, it was like a flashback,” said Frank. “Back then, I didn’t know what to do and couldn’t really help, but through all of the training over the years as a boy scout I now knew what to do and had experience to pull from.”

Frank carefully took Helen off her chair and laid her on the ground. Several others wanted to put pillows under her head, but he knew that was not what should be done because that closes her airways.

He made sure 911 was called and even got on the phone with the operator before determining Davis did not have a pulse and was not breathing. He then began performing chest compressions before the police arrived and cleared the scene.

Davis, whose heart was not beating, is currently in critical condition with the entire Rutgers-Newark community pulling for her.

“Thinking back to that camping trip and that feeling of helplessness helped me act,” added Frank. “I am glad I was able to help but really hope that Miss Helen ends up being okay. I know she is still fighting.”

Surely, Frank didn’t think that in week three of his college experience he would be in the situation he found himself in Monday, but he has been enjoying the rest of his R-N experience so far.

“Rutgers-Newark was the right fit for me,” he said. “I knew I wanted a strong Criminal Justice program, and I was lucky enough to have the chance to play high-level college volleyball as well. Once Pedro (Trevino) started recruiting me and I saw what the school could offer, it seemed like a great place.”

Frank has already started playing with his new teammates at open gym and has been exploring Newark and New York City as well.

“It’s been awesome so far, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. It’s definitely tough to be so far from my family, but in the long run I think I made the right choice.”