‘Thank God it was a happy ending for him’: OABCIG teachers honored for saving student’s life

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ODEBOLT, Iowa (KCAU) — It was the quick thinking of a group of teachers that save one student’s life nearly four months ago. On Wednesday, those teacher were honored.

When a boy collapsed during P.E. class, his teacher sprung into action and became a big part of the reason the student is still alive.

On January 29, OABCIG Middle School staff members who were trained in basic life support were put to the test.

“It’s hard to describe really, just kind of chokes you up a little bit,” said P.E. teacher Tony Napierala.

It was during Napierala’s P.E. class when a sixth-grade student collapsed. He was in cardiac arrest.

“At first, I thought he was play acting, he’s a very jovial kid, he was celebrating, he had just won the game and I thought he was just celebrating. Once he didn’t respond, we cleared out the classroom and we called on our blue team to come in, they made an announcement and the rest of the staff came in,” said Napierala.

Staff members used an automated external defibrillator (AED). The hand-held machine is used to restart the heart.

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“Once he revived him, the EMTs came in and we made sure he was stable and took him off and thank God it was a happy ending for him,” Napierala said.

Months after, the teachers who jumped into action are being awarded for their heroic acts.

“Hopefully nothing bad ever happens,” school nurse Tiffany Lindberg said. “But sometimes it does, and so therefore, we need to be ready to act and do what we need to do to get somebody stable and onto the next level of care.”

Administrators say this highlights the need for a designated, trained group of teachers, like the code blue team they credit with saving this student’s life, as well as having easy access to life-saving medical equipment.

“The kid is a great kid, and it’s great to see him back in school with his family, and it just makes you feel really proud about what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished, and the training we’ve done makes you feel confident if you ever get in that situation again,” said Napierala.

As part of the ceremony, Life Flight crew members greeted the students by flying in on a helicopter.

For the kids that were in that P.E class on that memorable day, they were given the opportunity to check out the helicopter up close.

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