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Video: Student’s heart stops; teachers save her

  1. Transcript of: Student’s heart stops; teachers save her

    MATT LAUER, co-host: We're back at 8:09 with what could have been a tragic situation that actually turned into a happy ending for a middle school student. NBC 's Lilia Luciano has details on this. Lilia , good morning.

    LILIA LUCIANO reporting: Good morning to you, Matt. What happened to 12-year-old Kylee Shea isn't something most parents would think was even possible. Walking the halls of her school, she suddenly collapsed, and without the quick thinking of two teachers and a life-saving device, she might not be here today. Until September 26th, Kylee Shea seemed to be a perfectly healthy seventh grader, but as she walked the halls of Maus Middle School in a Dallas suburb, she suddenly felt short of breath.

    Ms. KYLEE SHEA (Rescued By Teachers After Collapsing At School): I sat down and I, like, fell over, and then I don't remember anything from that.

    LUCIANO: Kylee collapsed to the ground and passed out, as seen on this surveillance footage. Her frightened classmates alerted gym teacher Kristen Goodgion , who rushed to find Kylee wasn't breathing and was turning blue, the 12-year-old's heart had stopped.

    Ms. KRISTEN GOODGION: Right away I knew I had to get help.

    LUCIANO: Fellow gym teacher Brent Reese arrived and immediately started CPR . Goodgion rushed to grab an automatic external defibrillator , a device used in dire medical emergencies to jump-start the heart. In the video, both teachers are seen desperately trying to save young Kylee .

    Mr. BRENT REESE: It's amazing the pain that can -- you see the situation and it's an emergency.

    LUCIANO: With the help of the defibrillator, the teachers stabilize Kylee until a first responder team arrived. She was then airlifted to Children's Medical Center .

    Mr. MIKE SHEA (Father of Kylee Shea): If it wasn't for this machine and for what they did, our daughter still may be with -- here today, but she wouldn't be the Kylee we know.

    LUCIANO: Doctors determined Kylee had an undetected heart condition and implanted her with a pacemaker. They say her survival is nothing short of a miracle.

    Dr. WILLIAM SCOTT (Kylee's Cardiologist): Survival from somebody who collapses outside the hospital for a child is around 3 percent, not very many.

    LUCIANO: But in Kylee 's case, two heroic teachers and a machine required in Texas public schools made all the difference.

    Unidentified Woman: Well, they had a hand in a miracle and it's just -- thank you.

    Ms. SHEA: I just want to say something simple like thank you.

    LUCIANO: Doctors say arrythmias made Kylee 's heart stop, but they're still uncertain what caused them. Her parents say if the teachers had taken another 30 seconds to come to her rescue, their daughter would not have made it.

    Matt: All right, Lilia Luciano . Lilia , thank you very much . Kylee Shea is here along with her parents, Cheryl and Mike , and Kylee 's brother Joel joins us as well. And I think we should call them the heroes in this story, Brent Reese and Kristen Goodgion . Nice to see you both. How are you feeling, first of all?

    LAUER: Great.

    Ms. SHEA: Yeah? I mean, I don't want to take too much notice of it, but you've got a scar here where they had this pacemaker put in, what, about a week ago?

    LAUER: Yes.

    Ms. SHEA: So you sore still? Are you feeling OK?

    LAUER: I'm feeling great.

    Ms. SHEA: Had you ever had anything like this happen to you before, Kylee , any other time where you got dizzy or short of breath?

    LAUER: Never.

    Ms. SHEA: So this was out of the blue .

    LAUER: Yes.

    Ms. SHEA: And you say you remember kind of having a hard time breathing, and the next thing the lights went out. And you don't remember anything after that until when?

    LAUER: The helicopter ride.

    Ms. SHEA: You were -- you woke up in the helicopter ride.

    LAUER: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. SHEA: And by that time these two had already done what they did so well. Before I talk to them, mom and dad, I mean you look at this videotape that we're watching right now, you weren't there, you were away at home or at work and this is happening to your daughter. How does it make you feel?

    LAUER: It's just so -- it was such a shock because she had never had any problems before, had been cleared with a physical to take her strength and conditioning class. And we don't have any family history.

    CHERYL: But that she fell into the care of these people so quickly is just extraordinary. So Kristen , you're the first one who comes after...

    LAUER: Yes.

    Ms. GOODGION: ...after Kylee passed out. And by the way, trained in CPR , right?

    LAUER: Yes, sir.

    Ms. GOODGION: How important is that?

    LAUER: Oh, extremely important. We get trained every two years and that literally is what we fall back on, you know, it kept us calm, we had something to go back on to know what to do.

    Ms. GOODGION: But you realized pretty quickly this wasn't just a case of a child passing out.

    LAUER: Right away, right away. As soon as I walked up, she was having a little bit of convulsion within five to 10 seconds. She was out.

    Ms. GOODGION: And she started to turn blue.

    LAUER: Yes.

    Ms. GOODGION: She wasn't getting oxygen. Brent , by the time you got there, you also trained in CPR .

    LAUER: Yes, sir.

    Mr. REESE: Did the training just kick in?

    LAUER: It did. You know, when you -- when I saw Kylee on the floor, just a million things are going through your head and you just kind of go into shell shock and you just kind of reboot and we went back to the training.

    Mr. REESE: But it's not the same as working with that little Resusci Anne doll or what...

    LAUER: Right.

    Mr. REESE: ...this is a real person.

    LAUER: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GOODGION: You've got to start -- your heartbeat must have been going a mile a minute.

    LAUER: Absolutely. Every time you -- I would do an evaluation, I wasn't sure I was wanting to hear.

    Mr. REESE: And then you get out -- you got that AED , the automatic external defibrillator ...

    LAUER: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GOODGION: ...and that thing once you get it on it kind of walks you through and talks you through the procedure, right?

    LAUER: Yes, it does. It talked us through it. And one of the craziest things is it told us to shock and we both looked at each other in shock, like is this really what we need to do right now?

    Ms. GOODGION: Because it was evaluating based on the signals it was getting...

    LAUER: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GOODGION: ...from Kylee , or not getting.

    LAUER: Yes.

    Ms. GOODGION: It was evaluating her situation.

    LAUER: Right.

    Mr. REESE: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GOODGION: And so you got nervous when you applied that first shock that if her heart was actually beating you could kill her.

    LAUER: Absolutely. And that's -- in the video I reach out to touch the button and I pulled back just a little bit thinking those exact thoughts.

    Mr. REESE: How many times did you have to shock her?

    LAUER: Twice.

    Ms. GOODGION: And on the second time did you notice immediate improvement or...

    LAUER: Definitely.

    Ms. GOODGION: The responders came also,the first responders arrived at about that time?

    LAUER: Mm-hmm. Around the same time, they came. After the second shock she started groaning and we're still, you know, thinking, you know, did we do this right, and it worked, so.

    Ms. GOODGION: Mom and dad , in Texas they're required to have these devices, right...

    LAUER: Yes.

    CHERYL: Right.

    Mr. SHEA: ...in a school.

    LAUER: Yes.

    CHERYL: What do you want to say about that?

    LAUER: I think it should be a nationwide mandate. I think every state should have -- should be required to have these in schools and public places.

    CHERYL: And, dad, what about a nationwide requirement to have Kristen and Brent in every school across the country as well?

    LAUER: I agree.

    CHERYL: They're stuck with us.

    Mr. SHEA: Thank you. Yeah.

    Mr. REESE: Yeah. We're family. Yes.

    CHERYL: I can imagine. You live through something like this, you get very close. Kylee , we are so happy that you're OK, all right? Good luck to you. And, Joel , good to have -- you must be awfully thrilled to have your sister around. It's great to have you all here. Thank you so much .

    LAUER: Thank you.

    Mr. SHEA:

TODAY contributor
updated 10/10/2011 9:53:01 AM ET 2011-10-10T13:53:01

A Dallas-area seventh-grader survived a literally heart-stopping crisis virtually unscathed thanks to two quick-thinking, well-trained schoolteachers.

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Kristen Goodgion and Brent Reese, teachers at Maus Middle School in Frisco, Texas, rushed within seconds to the aid of 12-year-old Kylee Shea after she crumpled in a school hallway Sept. 26. 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.

Doctors estimate that without the rapid response of Goodgion and Reese and the use of the AED, 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.

Story: Meet ‘Lazarus tot’ whose heart stopped for 1 hour

Goodgion and Reese are now being hailed as heroes. Appearing on TODAY with Kylee and her family Monday, Goodgion told Matt Lauer she knows firsthand the benefits of the school having its teachers trained in CPR and use of the AED.

“(It’s) extremely important,” she said. “We get trained every two years, and that literally is what we fell back on. It kept us calm; we had something to (fall) back on, to know what to do.”

‘It told us to shock’
Kylee had no prior history of heart trouble, but was walking to class when she felt short of breath. “I sat down, then I fell over, and I don’t remember anything after that,” she told NBC’s Lilia Luciano.

Goodgion, nearby, was alerted by alarmed students. Within seconds, Kylee began convulsing and turning blue. “Right away, I knew I had to go get help,” Goodgion told NBC News.

Reese arrived on the scene just moments later. He told Lauer while Kylee’s heart had stopped, his was racing.

Story: ‘God was with us’ when bull shark bit boy, 12

“When I saw Kylee on the floor, just a million things are going through (my) head,” he said. “You just kind of go into shell shock, and you kind of just reboot and we went back to the training.”

As the video vividly shows, Goodgion arrived at Kylee’s side with the AED. While the teachers were trained in its use, actually deploying the paddles on a living subject was a new experience. They hooked the AED up to Kylee and it began reading her vital signs.

Surveillance video shows teacher Brent Reese working to revive 12-year-old Kylee Shea, collapsed on the the floor. Kristen Goodgion stands at right.

“It told us to shock, and we both looked at each other in shock, like, ‘This is really what we need to do right now?’ ” Goodgion recalled.

Reese was only too aware that if Kylee’s heart was actually still beating, the shock paddles could do just the opposite of their intent — kill her.

Story: Toddler is OK after being pronounced DOA

“In the video, I reach out to touch the (shock) button, and I pull back just a little bit, thinking those exact thoughts,” he told Lauer.

Nontheless, the pair shocked Kylee’s heart. After a second attempt, the procedure appeared to work, with the AED reading “no shock required.”

“She started groaning and we’re still thinking, ‘Did we do this right?’ ” Goodgion said. “(But) it worked.”

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A 12-year-old with a pacemaker
Emergency personnel arrived and Kylee was airlifted to a local hospital. Doctors determined the 12-year-old had an undetected heart condition, and she was implanted with a pacemaker. She showed Lauer the scar from the procedure on TODAY.

Doctors told the family that if Goodgion and Reese hadn’t been trained and reacted as quickly as they did, Kylee would likely have been lost. And it was no less fortunate that the the state of Texas mandates that AEDs be placed in all state schools.

Story: ‘Miracle’ boy is OK after 15 minutes underwater

Grateful mom Sheryl Shea told Lauer she believes that rule should be universal.

“I think it should be a nationwide mandate,” she said. “I think every state should be required to have these in schools and public places.”

Video: Student’s heart stops; teachers save her (on this page)

Goodgion and Reese say they now feel a special bond with Kylee — Reese jokes that Kylee, as she grows older, won’t be allowed to date without his permission.

Lauer suggested that every school should be required to have Reese and Goodgion as well an AED.

Kylee’s dad, Mike Shea, reached across to pat the hands of his daughter’s saviors. “They’re stuck with us, (but) thank you!”

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