The holiday season can be a great time to hear some good news, and this story courtesy of West Wilkes High School certainly fills the bill— something that could have been tragic but turned out well, because of the use of some important equipment and a staff that was prepared.
Here is the information as provided by Dr. Lisa Harrington, assistant principal at West Wilkes High School:
"Two years ago, our high school received a Zoll AED from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (note: based on a grant program that the NCHSAA had established with its Endowment fund). On December 16, it was used to save a man's life.
"A 67-year-old man walked in the front door of our auxiliary gym to watch his grandson wrestle. This man, from the opposing team, asked where the restrooms were located, walked behind our ticket table, and collapsed onto the floor. His wife and daughter yelled for help. Our wrestling coach and a team parent began CPR and our athletic director ran to get the AED.
"The AED pads were placed on the man's chest and CPR was continued until the unit was ready. During these few moments, the unit advised the person administering compressions to press harder. When the unit was ready, everyone took their hands off the man and the button was pressed to administer the shock. Immediately, the man's heart began beating.
"The first responders and ambulance arrived and transported him to the local hospital. He was then transported to another hospital closer to home.
"Everyone involved in this incident firmly believe that this person would have died without the use of the AED.
"We send our heartfelt thanks to Zoll for manufacturing the AED equipment and the NCHSAA for providing it to the high schools. Your combined efforts are the number one reason a life was saved."
Athletic director Chris Skabo also points out that the Emergency Action Plan which the school had developed provided the framework and "everybody knew what they were supposed to do."
Christmas will indeed be special for at least one family touched by the efforts of West Wilkes High School, Zoll and the NCHSAA.