Archive for April, 2012

Teacher Saves Elementary Student during Physical Education

Posted by cocreator on April 30, 2012
Events / No Comments

First-grader Bowen Johnson is back at school with an implanted heart defibrillator two weeks after a teacher saved his life.


View First Aid Corps World Map of AED Locations in a larger map

The 7-year-old’s heart stopped during physical education on April 11 at Western Heights Elementary in Lake Charles.

“He was running around outside, playing with his friends for just about two minutes before he headed to the slide,” said Ken Flue, the school’s adapted physical education teacher for Western Heights. “He stepped on to the first step on the plastic playground and immediately collapsed.”

Flue moved the boy into the shade. Bowen had a faint pulse and was barely breathing. Then he stopped. Flue began rescue breathing and CPR while special-education aide April Jones ran to tell the front office to call 911.

Secretary Rhonda Cortez called on her cellphone while running to the playground, so she could relay instructions. Flue kept Bowen breathing for 10 minutes, until an ambulance arrived.

The school had also called Bowen’s parents, Steve and Eva Johnson, who arrived shortly before the ambulance.

“I was in shock. To see our son lying on the ground unconscious, he wasn’t breathing,” said Eva Johnson. “It was hard. It’s not something you see with children.”

Emergency medical technicians used a defibrillator to restart Bowen’s heart. Without Flue, he might have died before they arrived, they said.

“Everything worked just right. Everything was real surreal. When they put the paddles on him, I couldn’t watch that part,” Flue said. “He’s a very special kid, and it was definitely a God thing.”

Bowen was taken to Christus St. Patrick Hospital, then flown to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, where doctors implanted a defibrillator in his chest. It was the 21st operation for Bowen, who was diagnosed two years ago with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — a condition that causes the heart muscle to become abnormally thick, making it difficult for the organ to pump blood — and was badly burned in a house fire in October 2008.

After the fire, doctors gave him a 2 percent chance of survival. It was three months before he had recovered enough at a local hospital to be moved to a burn center in Cincinnati.

“He had to spend 3 1/2 months completely immobile. Then he went through all of the grafts and had to relearn how to walk, how to feed himself, to do anything on his own,” Johnson said. “He never stopped. Even when I knew it hurt him, he didn’t stop.”

Johnson attributes Bowen’s amazing recovery to his resilient spirit and fun personality. Bowen was able to return home in 2008, but must return to the burn center about twice a year for checkups and new skin grafts.

He has so much scar tissue in his left shoulder that doctors had to put the defibrillator farther away from his heart, in his right shoulder.

“He was in surgery for 5 1/2 hours while they tried to find a place and then tested to make sure it worked,” Johnson said.

For the first responders at Western Heights, having Bowen back at school is “nothing short of a miracle.”

“I’m so glad to see him. I’m glad he’s back,” Jones said. “He’s running around like nothing ever happened.”

“Bowen is probably one of the coolest kids I’ve ever met,” Flue said. “No matter what happens he just bounces right back. He’s just amazing.”

Bowen’s entire class welcomed him back, but it was his two best friends and “special helper” classmates who missed him and worried about him the most.

“I really missed him. I was worried because he was in surgery,” said Isabella Young, who helps Bowen write and hold his school supplies. “When he came back he said he had stitches in his arm so I’m even more worried about that.”

“It’s good he is back,” said Brylie Fontenot. “Today I helped him get his tray at lunch.”

Energetic as always, Bowen spent his first day back at school running around with his friends, playing his favorite “SuccessMaker” computer game, and watching an episode of “The Magic School Bus.”

“I’m happy I’m back, but now I have homework,” Bowen sighed.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Tags: , , , , ,

Passersby Save Woman outside Restaurant

Posted by cocreator on April 30, 2012
Events / No Comments

Lynda Donaldson suffered a cardiac arrest outside her Saintfield restaurant last year.

Lynda Donaldson the Survivor

A first aid trainer spotted her and used a defibrillator which he had in his car boot to revive her.

Now the PSNI has said they will pay for a defibrillator for the town.

Lynda was with her husband when she collapsed.

“I had had no pain, nothing,” she said.

“We had been out for our lunch and were having a good day and just as we got to the door, I felt, all of a sudden, dizzy and went to put my hand out to Grahame to say ‘I feel dizzy’ and I didn’t even get the words out,” she said.

Nurse Michelle McAvoy, who was passing, gave Lynda cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

First aid trainer Philip Batt also happened to be passing and noticed a commotion on the street.

“I thought I was seeing things to be honest,” he said.

“I pulled over and grabbed my equipment out of the back out of the back of the car, the first aid kit, the defibrillator and the oxygen that I was carrying.”

Ms Donaldson has now started a campaign to buy defibrillators.

“You need to get them into schools and get young ones trained and coming through because in a number of years time we’ll have lots of people who are able to do this,” she said.

“If you don’t get the proper assistance within eight to ten minutes you just don’t survive and that is just how critical it is with cardiac arrest,” she said.

“How can I ever thank those people for saving my life? They are just amazing.”

Tags: , , , ,

Tags: , , ,

School Staff Save Teen during Class

Posted by cocreator on April 20, 2012
Events / No Comments

A group effort between first responders and staff at Bixby High School has given a student a second chance at life.


View First Aid Corps World Map of AED Locations in a larger map

Jonathan Fussell, 15, was born with a heart defect. At the age of two, he underwent a heart transplant.

In the middle of a Monday class, that heart failed him — sending him into cardiac arrest.

Teacher Josh Smith helped give CPR to Fussell as assistant principal Roland Vernon grabbed a heart defibrillator, or AED.

“He was completely unresponsive and didn’t have a heart beat for a really long time,” Smith said. “Even after our machine shocked him for the first time, he didn’t have a pulse. It was really worrisome.”

But the Bixby faculty didn’t give up, relying on hours of training and the AED to keep him alive until medics arrived.

“Early defibrillation is what got Jonathan the fighting chance that he needed,” said EMSA spokesman Chris Stevens.

On Thursday Fussell was stable enough to fly to Little Rock Children’s Hospital, where he will go back on the transplant list.

Barbara Smart says the quick action of those involved is the reason her grandson is still alive. She believes every school should have defibrillators on sight.

“It is amazing. Every school in the nation needs to have these tools to work with,” she said. “Because you never know when this could happen to a child.”

Tags: , , , , , ,

Tags: , , , , ,

Teamwork Save Teen during Little League Game

Posted by cocreator on April 19, 2012
Events / No Comments

A Colonie father was thankful Monday night for all the people who saved his 11-year-old boy’s life.

The young boy’s heart stopped after he was struck in the chest by a pitch during a little league game Monday night.

As we understand from the boy’s father his son is recovering at Albany Medical Center. He says he’s going to be just fine. Things could have been much worse if it were not for the quick action of the Colonie Little League.

“I just want to thank the coaches from Colonie little league,” said Mark Mendrick.

Words alone cannot express how he feels about the people who rushed to his son’s aid when the boy collapsed on the little league field at Cook Park in Colonie Monday night.

His 11-year-old boy went into cardiac arrest after he was hit in the chest by pitch during a little league game.

Prevratil, who also was the coach of the other team, was the first to begin CPR.

“There was no panic from anyone, no hysteria,” Prevratil said. “Everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do.”

The boy’s coach, Mike Martin, bolted from the dugout and realized the boy was having trouble breathing, Prevratil said.

When Prevratil saw the boy’s coach needed further assistance, he rushed from his own dugout. On his way to home plate, he heard someone from the stands shout, “Call 911!”

While Martin and Prevratil tended to the boy, he slipped out of consciousness. That’s when Prevratil began CPR.

Prevratil said he performed chest compressions for only about 30 seconds before police arrived.

Colonie Police officer Brian Curran was the first on the scene, and he continued CPR for another minute before the EMT team reached the boy with a defribrillator, Colonie Police Lt. Robert Winn said.

The boy’s heart restarted while he still was lying in the batter’s box, Prevratil said, and he was taken away by ambulance.

EMT’s took over using a defibrillator. They resuscitated the boy and rushed him to Albany Medical Center. Cardiologist doctor Jim O’Brian says what happened to the young player is extremely rare.

“He’s the classic age. It occurs in young boys when the pitch is hard but not so hard,” said O’Brian.

O’Brian says that causes agitation of the heart where the ball hits the chest at exactly the wrong time — disrupting the regular heartbeat. The boy, we’re told is lucky to be alive and doing ok.

“He’s got some hurdles to go. The rest of the kids are taking it fairly well. Some are too little to understand,” said Mendrick.

Meanwhile, Mendrick says he’s received emails from little leagues across the country, wishing for a speedy recovery.

His father told NewsChannel 13, the boy is already sitting up and asking when is he going to be back on the field.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Teacher Saves Teen in School

Posted by cocreator on April 18, 2012
Events / No Comments

A west-end gym teacher and his assistant are being credited with saving a Grade 12 student’s life after they used a defibrillator to revive the teenager, who had stopped breathing.


View First Aid Corps World Map of AED Locations in a larger map

Jeff Crewe, who teaches physical education at Weston Collegiate Institute, jumped into action Friday morning after 18-year-old Ajethan Ramachandranathan collapsed in the middle of class.

“I was standing at the doorway. Immediately, the other students in the class hollered to me and I ran over to him and looked at him, and he was gasping,” Mr. Crewe recalled. “I looked in his eyes and his eyes were rolled back a bit.”

Jeff Crewe the Saviour

Mr. Ramachandranathan, described by his sister as a tall, athletic teen, lay gasping on the floor as staff called 911. Student teacher Jessica Sung, who was on her last day of training with Mr. Crewe, rushed to fetch the defibrillator, and just in time: As they rolled Mr. Ramachandranathan into the recovery position, he stopped breathing.

At that point, Mr. Crewe said, they gave the 18-year-old a shock with the defibrillator, and continued with chest compressions until the young man began to gasp for breath again. Minutes later, paramedics arrived and took over.

“We train quite regularly for it but to put it into practice was something quite different,” Mr. Crewe said, noting the experience was “stressful, but once we found out the student was doing OK, I felt much better.”

At the time he collapsed, Mr. Ramachandranathan — who has no known heart or lung conditions — had stopped to chat with a fellow student after doing some “light activity,” principal Deborah Blair said.

“We have no idea why it happened,” she added.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Ramachandranathan remained in hospital, awaiting a transfer to Toronto General for tests to hopefully shed light on why he collapsed, said his sister, Sarmela Ramachandranathan. The family was both “shocked” by the incident and “grateful” at the quick response by staff, she said.

“He never had chest pains or anything, and we just get a phone call saying he collapsed,” Ms. Ramachandranathan recalled, noting her brother had not recovered a full memory of what happened that day.

For now, he is doing fine, reading books and keeping himself “as entertained as possible” during his hospital stay, she added.

“We’re very grateful,” Ms. Ramachandranathan added. “It’s amazing how things can happen in seconds, just like that.”

Ms. Blair praised the actions of Mr. Crewe and Ms. Sung, along with vice-principal Bernard Lee, who accompanied Mr. Ramachandranathan to the hospital and remained there for much of Friday to comfort the student’s family. Mr. Crewe reconvened his class afterward to debrief and allow students a chance to discuss their feelings on the incident, she added.

“One of the things that really struck me was how the staff responded so well to the situation and did everything that needed to be done to save a student’s life,” Ms. Blair said.

Ms. Blair also touted the value of defibrillator training, which teachers receive on an annual basis.

“When you think that even the one time, it saved someone’s life — it’s quite remarkable,” she said.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Tags: , , , , ,