6-year-old boy collapses at school after heart stops

By Jed Boal  |  Posted Oct 13th, 2011 @ 10:32pm


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SPANISH FORK -- A 6-year-old boy is recovering after his heart stopped beating while at school Thursday.

The student was taking part of a P.E. class outside at East Meadows Elementary School when he suddenly collapsed. But a two-minute response and life-saving training got his heart back in rhythm.

The boy is recovering at Primary Children's Medical Center following the heroic efforts of those who first noticed him. His doctors say he's still in critical condition, but his heart is beating on its own and he's breathing on his own. He remains on oxygen as a precaution.

"Our main concern is for the student and their family," said Nebo School District spokeswoman Lana Hiskey.

Friends were playing together when the young boy collapsed. One of the boy's friends told the playground supervisor, who discovered the boy was not breathing and had no pulse.

"Our adult personnel moved quickly, called 911, and the emergency response vehicle got here very quickly," Hiskey described. "(They) promptly took the student to a medical facility."

The police got there in two minutes and tried to revive the boy with CPR, but only got a couple of breaths out of the boy. That's when they used an Automated External Defibrillator to shock his heart back into action.


Our adult personnel moved quickly, called 911, and the emergency response vehicle got here very quickly.

–Lana Hiskey


The boy was taken to the Payson Hospital before being airlifted to Primary Children's Medical Center. Doctors still don't know what made the boy go into cardiac arrest.

"Luckily, a lot of the students were in class," Hiskey said.

The school sent a note home with all of the students to let parents know about the incident. It concludes by saying, "We are proud of the trained school staff that responded so well to the emergency."

The boy's aunt said the family is grateful to the P.E. teacher, the secretary and the Spanish Fork Polic Officer that saved the boy's life.

The Nebo School District was already in the process of putting defibrillators in its schools before the Thursday's event.

"We think it's important to get those in every one of our schools," Hiskey said.

But the biggest factor in Thursday's life-saving event was time. A person who suffers cardiac arrest often has as little as 10 minutes to live. The quicker someone can help the potential damage to the body decreases significantly.

Resuscitation efforts are helpful, but a defibrillator is needed to restore a person's heart rhythm back to normal. If an emergency responder is not available, an AED is user friendly.

Email: jboal@ksl.com

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