Two PSU Alumni Save the Lives of Student Athletes

March, 2007

The lives of two young student athletes were saved thanks to the quick response of two PSU alumni and the accessibility of automatic external debrillators (AEDs).

Ryan Neault ’05, a certied athletic trainer for Anderson University in South Carolina, was attending a routine preseason baseball practice when one of his players suddenly collapsed. Neault ran to the student’s side and found that he was not breathing and had no pulse. Neault began CPR and, with an AED, the player’s pulse returned. “It was something you never think you’re going to encounter and I did,” Neault recalled, noting his gratitude for the AED and CPR training he received at PSU.

Last October,Matt Keene, a student at Kimball Union Academy, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during football practice. Within minutes of his collapse, the school’s athletic trainer Katherine Bello, who earned her master’s degree in education from PSU in 2005, her coworker Robert Hyjek, and the school nurse were on the scene with an AED and saved Keene’s life.Within a few weeks, Keene was able to return to school.

Interestingly, just a few days before Keene’s collapse, Bello had submitted a proposal to Kimball administrators to expand the school’s existing AED program and add a CPR/AED certication program for all faculty, staff and students.

Thanks to the initiative of a Kimball alumnus who was moved by Keene’s story, the school received a $20,000 grant from an anonymous foundation, enabling KUA to add four AEDs that are strategically located throughout the campus and wired directly to 911. The grant also provided for immediate certication of up to 100 members of the KUA community and their subsequent recertification in two years, as well as the purchase of CPR/AED instruction materials, such as CPR mannequins, AED training units, student manuals, and instructional DVDs.

Bello knew many KUA students had heightened awareness of the importance of AED/CPR training following Keene’s incident—including Keene himself. This provided the impetus for Bello’s “KUA Has Heart” program, which promotes and provides AED/CPR training opportunities to Kimball students and faculty.

On Sunday, April 1, over 70 KUA students became certified in AED/CPR. Bello, together with PSU Assistant Professor of Athletic Training Linda Levy and American Heart Association instructors from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, trained and certified the students with the help of big screen projection and equipment borrowed from PSU, DHMC, and Zoll Medical Corporation.

As a result of Bello’s program, 40 percent of the faculty have been certied, with 60 percent expected to be certified by the end of this school year, and 100 percent by the end of the next school year.—Linda Levy

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