FRISCO – A Frisco middle school student's close brush with death has inspired a new program to teach thousands of kids what to do if someone's heart stops.
A Sept. 2011 story covered how school surveillance cameras captured Kylee Shea collapsing in a school hallway. That dramatic event will likely lead to more lives being saved.
It was a typical September day at Maus Middle School, until Shea, 12, collapsed to the floor.
"Her face started to turn blue," said Kristin Goodgion, a Maus physical education teacher. "There was no breathing."
Within seconds, Goodgion and another teacher, Brent Reese, sprung into action, using heart compressions and an automated external defibrillator to save Shea's life.
"I prayed," said Goodgion. "Just please, Kylee. Come back. God, let her come back to us. Because we knew something was really, really wrong."
Kylee has an irregular heartbeat. Doctors installed a pacemaker. More than one year after her heart stopped, Kylee is a typical eighth grader. But one thing sets her aside: her desire to prepare fellow students for a heart emergency like hers.
"It's amazing because two ordinary people can do it," said Kylee. "It's not just coaches, everybody can do it."
Kylee's close call with death inspired a new Frisco ISD physical education program on heart health, nutrition and first aid.
Every sixth grader is receiving CPR training this year. Seventh and eighth grade P.E. students are also getting trained. Tara Griffis, one of the teachers who helped design the course, says that, for her, it's personal.
"Three years ago, my father, at 59 years old, had a massive heart attack and my mother had no clue as to what to do and how to do CPR," said Griffis.
The district spent less than $10,000 to buy 32 CPR mannequins and three training defibrillators. Kylee Shea says that's a small price if it helps save someone else life, just like it saved hers.
"It can happen to anyone anywhere," said Shea. "So everybody should know it."