Classmates

Physical Ed Teacher, Students & Cop Save 17 Year Old during Basketball Game

Posted by cocreator on April 22, 2009
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We will be reporting on lives saved around the world since our first documented life saved here in Singapore.

Mike Spillman the Survivor

Mike Spillman the Survivor

“Mike, 17, collapsed in the school gym during a pickup basketball game.

Gym supervisor Ross Peterson, who is a physical education instructor, and students Joel Willenbring and Demetre Growette administered CPR.

A police officer quickly arrived on the scene and used the school’s automated external defibrillator to jolt Mike’s heart into rhythm.

“They brought me back,” Mike said quietly last week, sitting in the home dugout at John Burch Park in Cannon Falls, located between the Twin Cities and Rochester.

An ambulance took him to the local hospital and a helicopter transported him to St. Paul Children’s Hospital. He was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart muscle that forces the heart to work harder than normal.

Today, Mike Spillman was finally back in action, playing high school baseball after months of waiting for doctors to give him the go-ahead. In his first at-bat of the season earlier this month, the junior from Cannon Falls lashed a run-scoring double against Kasson-Mantorville. He later advanced to third base, sliding headfirst into the bag.

“When he did that, the fans were gasping,” Cannon Falls coach Bucky Lindow said.

The fans weren’t gasping at Spillman’s speed. They were gasping because he has a pacemaker in his chest.

Seeing Mike on the baseball field is a relief for his family. The hard part came in September, when he nearly died.

“I don’t even think about it, because he’s safer now than he was without the pacemaker,” Penny Spillman said of her son.

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