As a registered nurse, Memphis School Board member Amanda Bobcean saves lives in the emergency room all the time. The mother of two didn’t expect to put those skills to work while leading cheer practice at the school her children attend.
However, when a student athlete collapsed Dec. 15, 2022, that’s exactly what happened.
“I’m a nurse of course but I’m a mom first,” Bobcean said. “It was shocking for myself and all of us that were at the school that day.”
Bobcean began performing CPR on the student, then incorporated the AED as soon as a team member brought her the equipment.
The student was revived before EMS arrived,15 minutes after the call went out.
“After Christmas, I said to myself ‘I want to do more to protect my kids and this community’,” Bobcean said. “That’s when I found Beaumont Student Heart Check and Jen Shea. She has been an amazing support and resource.”
According to Shea, manager of the Corewell Health Student Heart Check program, without Bobcean’s swift and confident response, the outcome on Dec. 15 likely would have been much different.
“That young man is here today because Amanda stepped up,” Shea said. “She knew what to do – and this district had the foresight to have this critical equipment available.”
Similar scenarios unfold all too frequently during sporting events throughout the country including last week when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field after taking a standard hit to the chest during the nationally televised Monday Night Football game. Hamlin, 24, who experienced sudden cardiac arrest, had no known prior heart conditions. He was revived on the field by training staff using CPR and an AED.
“Fortunately, the expertise and technology were there when Damar needed them, too,” Shea said. “That is not always the case.
AED equipment is not a mandatory, on-site requirement in Michigan schools, Shea explained.
But Bobcean and the team at Memphis is building on their recent positive outcome to ensure they are prepared to handle future emergencies by meeting MI HEARTSafe School requirements.
“To say I am grateful for Amanda’s swift, skilled and compassionate response is an understatement,” said Sara Dobbelaer, superintendent, Memphis Community Schools. “From the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of the entire district and community: thank you, Amanda.”
Since Dec. 15, the district has received a flood of requests from concerned staff and parents asking for CPR training and related education, Dobbelaer said. “We are so excited to be working with Jen and Corewell Health’s Student Heart Check program and would like to encourage other districts to take these same steps.”
In addition to coordinating free heart screenings for student athletes throughout Metro Detroit and helping schools achieve MI HEARTSafe School status, Corewell Health’s Student Heart Check program has provided 64 AED’s through generous donations from its sponsors.
Moving forward, Student Heart Check will be donating additional AEDs to Memphis Community Schools.
Did you know?
- Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in student athletes; one in 200,000 high school athletes will die suddenly, most without any prior symptoms.
- Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the general U.S. population, killing 350,000 people each year, or one person every 90 seconds.
- Without intervention, irreversible brain damage or death can occur within nine minutes.
- The average wait time for EMS to arrive in the United States is ten minutes.
- Less than 10 percent of those who receive CPR alone survive.
- CPR coupled with AED technology saves lives nearly 40 percent of the time.