Coach Uses AED To Help Save Student’s Life

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A Sioux Falls middle school student is fighting for his life after he collapsed during basketball tryouts. His life was saved thanks to a coach who performed CPR and used an AED to shock his heart.

Every other year, the Sioux Falls School District makes sure that their more than 70 PE teachers know how to use an AED and are trained in CPR; training they hope they never have to use.

Sioux Falls School District PE/Athletic Coordinator Mark Meile said, “This does happen, you know, and that’s why it’s so important, you know, for us to continue to re-certifying and getting up to date on the latest knowledge and technology.”
Unfortunately,school staff had to on Tuesday. According to a Go Fund Me page, Nate Wick, an energetic hockey, football and basketball player, was trying out for the basketball team at Patrick Henry Middle School. At the end of practice, he collapsed while running ladders. The district says a PE Teacher and middle school basketball coach started CPR. Staff used an AED to shock his heart.

Meile said, “A fortunate thing in this situation was as a physical education teacher he was, you know, he is certified in AED/CPR.”

They shocked him twice before EMS crews arrived. While Nate struggles to survive, without the coach’s quick thinking, the 7th grader may not still be alive. 

“In this particular incident our staff member/coach did just an excellent job,” said Meile.

The last time the district went through training was in mid-August, right before school started. But no matter how fresh in your mind, the district says you never know if someone is truly up for the task.

Meile said, “In a time of crisis, how is that individual going to handle that is the million dollar question.”

In Nate’s case, the coach helped save his life.

The district says in it’s 35 buildings, they have more than 60 AED’s with three or four people in each building who know how to use them.

Nate had a good night in the hospital on Wednesday and was transferred to Iowa City on Thursday.

There is a Go Fund Me page that has been set up to help Nate’s family with medical bills. If you would like updates on his condition or you would like to donate, you can do so on that page.

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