Teacher & Student Save Student in School

Posted by cocreator on June 21, 2014
Events

Due to reinforced training and the immediate response by two Spillane Middle School staff members, a seventh-grade student who went into cardiac arrest during school is alive and well, and back among fellow students.


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The student collapsed on Spillane’s main staircase in between classes on Feb. 28. DMC teacher Sean Stiewert and school nurse Becky Cushen reacted immediately and worked together to help sustain her life in the critical moments before paramedics arrived.

Stiewert, whose classroom is adjacent to the bottom of the staircase, entered the lobby at 10:07 a.m. that Friday morning—the end of second period—to see a group of students stopped on the stairs, collectively pointing toward the bottom three steps where the student had fallen.

Sean Stiewert Becky Cushen the Saviours

Sean Stiewert Becky Cushen the Saviours

“That’s when that ‘coach’s voice’ came out of me pretty loudly,” said Stiewert, a 17-year CFISD veteran and longtime club swim coach. “I told everyone to clear out and use the back staircase, and instructed a student to go get Becky.”

While one staff member called 911, another retrieved one of the school’s six automated external defibrillators (AEDs) so Cushen and Stiewert—both CPR certified—could begin resuscitation.

Cushen, a registered nurse of 28 years who has served CFISD for 4 ½, made the assessment to roll the student onto her back, then immediately began chest compressions.

“We went right into exactly what we had been taught,” Cushen said. “I knew Sean knew CPR just like me, and that made it easy to trust her as we worked together.”

Stiewert followed the AED’s instructions, applying both pads to the student’s chest and clearing space between them and the student while the defibrillator administered a shock.

While still unconscious, the student developed a faint pulse and breaths. The AED instructed Stiewert and Cushen to continue CPR, which they did for what Stiewert estimated was 11 minutes before EMT personnel arrived.

Without the intervention of Spillane staff, she likely would not have survived.

“Their response was immediate, professional and absolutely saved that girl’s life. There’s no question about it,” said Bevin Gordon, CFISD director of health services. “The specific rhythm that the student’s heart was in required a shock from an AED to recover. If she had been anywhere else where an AED was not present, she may not have recovered.”

Shortly following the incident, CFISD support staff and counselors checked in on Stiewert and Cushen. While they were given the option to go home, both stayed for the remainder of the school day.

“I wanted to stay because I didn’t want to just be sitting at home thinking about what had happened,” Stiewert said.

Agreed Cushen, “What if something else had happened again and I had gone home? If someone needed my help I wanted to be there.”

The student was in good spirits and smiling by the time Stiewert and Cushen went to visit her in the hospital with other Spillane teachers the next day.

“I just wanted to hug her,” Stiewert said. “There was a ton of weight lifted off me as soon as I saw her smiling. That’s when I knew everything was good.”

As a result of their actions, Stiewert and Cushen were recognized by the CFISD Board of Trustees during their regularly scheduled meeting on March 13. Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent of schools, presented each of them with the Superintendent Challenge Coin for going above and beyond their normal duties.

“Our number one goal in this district is making sure our students are safe,” Dr. Henry said at the meeting. “Thanks to people like you on our campuses, you are helping fulfill that goal in CFISD.”

The student returned to Spillane this Tuesday to the delight of both Stiewert and Cushen, who are reluctant to claim the spotlight as life-saving heroes.

“A hero is someone who jumps in when their life is in danger. Ours weren’t,” Cushen said. “I feel like I’m just doing my job. I’m really happy I was there. We were in the right place at the right time, and I don’t think it could have gone any smoother.”Due to reinforced training and the immediate response by two Spillane Middle School staff members, a seventh-grade student who went into cardiac arrest during school is alive and well, and back among fellow students.

The student collapsed on Spillane’s main staircase in between classes on Feb. 28. DMC teacher Sean Stiewert and school nurse Becky Cushen reacted immediately and worked together to help sustain her life in the critical moments before paramedics arrived.

Stiewert, whose classroom is adjacent to the bottom of the staircase, entered the lobby at 10:07 a.m. that Friday morning—the end of second period—to see a group of students stopped on the stairs, collectively pointing toward the bottom three steps where the student had fallen.

“That’s when that ‘coach’s voice’ came out of me pretty loudly,” said Stiewert, a 17-year CFISD veteran and longtime club swim coach. “I told everyone to clear out and use the back staircase, and instructed a student to go get Becky.”

While one staff member called 911, another retrieved one of the school’s six automated external defibrillators (AEDs) so Cushen and Stiewert—both CPR certified—could begin resuscitation.

Cushen, a registered nurse of 28 years who has served CFISD for 4 ½, made the assessment to roll the student onto her back, then immediately began chest compressions.

“We went right into exactly what we had been taught,” Cushen said. “I knew Sean knew CPR just like me, and that made it easy to trust her as we worked together.”

Stiewert followed the AED’s instructions, applying both pads to the student’s chest and clearing space between them and the student while the defibrillator administered a shock.

While still unconscious, the student developed a faint pulse and breaths. The AED instructed Stiewert and Cushen to continue CPR, which they did for what Stiewert estimated was 11 minutes before EMT personnel arrived.

Without the intervention of Spillane staff, she likely would not have survived.

“Their response was immediate, professional and absolutely saved that girl’s life. There’s no question about it,” said Bevin Gordon, CFISD director of health services. “The specific rhythm that the student’s heart was in required a shock from an AED to recover. If she had been anywhere else where an AED was not present, she may not have recovered.”

Shortly following the incident, CFISD support staff and counselors checked in on Stiewert and Cushen. While they were given the option to go home, both stayed for the remainder of the school day.

“I wanted to stay because I didn’t want to just be sitting at home thinking about what had happened,” Stiewert said.

Agreed Cushen, “What if something else had happened again and I had gone home? If someone needed my help I wanted to be there.”

The student was in good spirits and smiling by the time Stiewert and Cushen went to visit her in the hospital with other Spillane teachers the next day.

“I just wanted to hug her,” Stiewert said. “There was a ton of weight lifted off me as soon as I saw her smiling. That’s when I knew everything was good.”

As a result of their actions, Stiewert and Cushen were recognized by the CFISD Board of Trustees during their regularly scheduled meeting on March 13. Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent of schools, presented each of them with the Superintendent Challenge Coin for going above and beyond their normal duties.

“Our number one goal in this district is making sure our students are safe,” Dr. Henry said at the meeting. “Thanks to people like you on our campuses, you are helping fulfill that goal in CFISD.”

The student returned to Spillane this Tuesday to the delight of both Stiewert and Cushen, who are reluctant to claim the spotlight as life-saving heroes.

“A hero is someone who jumps in when their life is in danger. Ours weren’t,” Cushen said. “I feel like I’m just doing my job. I’m really happy I was there. We were in the right place at the right time, and I don’t think it could have gone any smoother.”

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