Because of two heroic and quick-thinking teachers, 12-year-old Kylee Shea is alive today and feeling great.
On September 26, the seventh-grader from Texas became short of breath then collapsed in the hallway of her school. Surrounding students quickly grabbed gym teachers Kristen Goodgion and Brent Reese for help.
"While Reese performed CPR, Goodgion fetched the school’s automatic external defibrillator (AED). They used the machine’s paddles to kick-start Kylee’s heart in a dramatic rescue caught on the school’s surveillance cameras," the "Today" show reports.
Goodgion says she and Reese relied on their CPR and AED training, though they had never actually used the paddles in a real emergency situation before. After Reese performed CPR, the machine told them to shock, so Reese went ahead.
A sigh of relief -- it worked. Within moments, emergency personnel airlifted Shea to the hospital. Doctors discovered a previously undetected heart condition and gave her a pacemaker. Her mom, Sheryl Shea, says the diagnosis came as a surprise. Kylee had recently been cleared with a physical for a strength and conditioning class, and there is no family history.
According to her doctors, if the teachers had responded just 30 seconds later, "Kylee would have had just a 3 percent chance of surviving her episode of heart arrhythmia, and only a 1 percent chance of surviving without brain damage."
Her parents expressed their gratitude to Goodgion and Reese on "Today" this morning. Her mom is also thankful that the state of Texas requires AEDs be placed in all schools. She believes that rule should be universal because without it, her daughter might not be alive today.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story noted that Reese was afraid the paddles would kill her.