Michigan School Staffers Save Girl with Defibrillator


 
 

James L. Smith | | Wednesday, November 7, 2007


FLINT, Mich. -- Ashley Palmer, 17, a student at Davison Alternative High School, knows she owes her life to the quick action of school staff and an in-school defibrillator.

Lorraine Lori Ayers, 42, of Richfield Township, Ashley s mother, said a Hurley Medical Center doctor credited the quick work and defibrillator for saving her daughter s life Oct. 24 outside the school.

On Monday night, the Board of Education and a crowd of spectators gave the mother, her daughter and four staff members a standing ovation.

Diagnosed 18 months ago with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that causes her heart to suddenly race, Ashley had her worst-ever attack as she left school Oct. 24 to go home. When she collapsed outside the school, staff members rushed to her side with the defibrillator and found her with no heartbeat and not breathing.

Acting on the training they received earlier this year, four staff members quickly hooked Ashley up to the machine, restarted her heart and breathing with the defibrillator and performed CPR.

Honored Monday were Christina McWilliams, secretary to the Davison High School principal; Cheri Steinkraus, the attendance secretary; Evelyn Ailing, a high school math teacher; and Jason Vannest, a guidance counselor. Vannest was not able to attend the board meeting.

Ashley spent eight days in the hospital and now has a tiny defibrillator installed in her chest and is on new medicine to control her heart, Ayers said.

Ayers and Ashley hugged each of the rescuers at the meeting, and Ayers choked with emotion when she expressed her thanks for the quick work of the staff.

If the defibrillator had not been there, she would have been gone, Ayers told the board. I want to thank you all so much. I hope all the schools have it. Thank you so much for saving my daughter.

More school districts are investing in the portable devices. In 2004, the Flushing school district reportedly was the first in the county to place an automated external defibrillator in every school building.

Other districts followed, including Flint, which approved fitting all school buildings with defibrillators in 2006.

Ashley hugged and thanked her rescuers. She has no memory of the attack or the rescue effort.

The four staff members have earned a new nickname around the school - Ashley s Angels - said Sue Henkel, principal of the alternative high school.

Staff members said they were grateful for the training they received.

I thank God for our training, McWilliams said. I had never done CPR for real, and it s not like on the mannequin. It s the scariest thing I ve ever done. I truly believe God intervened.

Ailing said she was in the office and overheard the call for help to 911 and rushed to Ashley.

It was like running in slow motion, Ailing said. It was a little overwhelming.

Superintendent Clay Perkins said a recording in the device indicated that the machine was employed in seconds and that the four staffers could not have acted any quicker.

Journal staff writer Beata Mostafavi contributed to this report.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Cardiac and Circulation, Training

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Ebola Changes How North Carolina EMS Responds to Calls

Concern about virus spread leads to new protocols.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Oklahoma Hospitals Prepare for Ebola Cases

Training and preparation are keys for metro hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS in Nevada Prepares for the Unexpected

Protocols and PPE protect AMR personnel.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Brace for Possible Ebola Patients

Union leader shares concern over precautions.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

CDC Ebola Training for Clinicians

Students learn the complexities of working in bulky suits.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >