Web Exclusive: Arkansas student thanks those who let her see another day


PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KNWA) — An Arkansas student from Pea Ridge High School, living with a serious heart condition, is thanking those who saved her life after she collapsed inside a classroom one year ago.

On January 11, 2019, lives were changed forever when Pea Ridge School Nurse Laray Thetford got the call that a student was unconscious and not breathing.

“I jumped right in and started doing CPR until the paramedics showed up,” she said.

Pea Ridge Coach John King happened to be close by and jumped into action alongside Thetford.

“It’s probably the most rewarding thing I’ll be able to do,” he said.

The two continued to do CPR until paramedics arrived.

“When I got to the classroom she was laying on the floor, lifeless,” said Laron Edwards, Pea Ridge Fire Department Paramedic.

With the help out an AED, Pea Ridge Fire Department Paramedic Laron Edwards was able to get Kennedy breathing again.

“It literally gives me chill bumps down my spine,” he said.

Kennedy was rushed to Arkansas Children’s Hospital where she found out she has ventricular fibrillation (VF) — a life-threatening heart condition.

“I get to support everyone who supported me throughout this whole journey,” Kennedy said.

Now, a year later (Jan. 11, 2020) Kennedy and her family are thanking these quick heroes for letting her see another day.

“It feels amazing that they took the time and effort to make sure I was okay,” she said.

Kennedy said even though saying thank you will never be enough, she is so grateful God wanted her to be here longer.

“He has more stuff ahead in life for me,” she said. “He didn’t want me to go so soon.”

All of the people who helped Kennedy said being at the right place at the right time, made all the difference between life and death.

“It’s amazing,” Thetford said. “I give God all the glory.”

“She’s a miracle from God,” Edwards said.

Kennedy’s parents said the heroes and community that saved their daughter’s life will forever be in their hearts.

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