Texas HS cross country coach saved by athletes, trainer after collapsing during practice

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A Texas high school cross country coach was saved from a potential stroke by quick thinking from his athletes and the school’s athletic trainer, who used an AED to resuscitate him.

As reported by the Longview News-Journal, Longview cross country coach Ken Jernigan collapsed during the end of one of his team’s recent practices. His athletes then sprang into action, sprinting to retrieve the school’s two athletic trainers — Deirdre Scotter and Kristin Croley — who in turn immediately intervened.

“The kids came running into the training room and screamed that Coach Jernigan had collapsed and when they said that, knowing that he has a little heart history, I took off and told Coach Croley to grab the automated external defibrillator (AED) and we both got up there quickly,” Scotter told the News-Journal. “He wasn’t getting regular breaths and Kristin felt a thready pulse to no pulse so it was a no brainer to put the AED on him right away.”

After the AED had been administered, Scotter and Croley performed CPR until medical assistance arrived.

Jernigan is now recuperating under hospital supervision, and he has quick thinking and reactions from his own athletes and trainers to thank for it.

“You don’t have time to think,” Croley said. “Your instincts kick in and you just go. There’s no hesitation.

“We’ve been trained to do this so it’s a situation where it’s ‘OK, here it is, let’s go.’”

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