TAMPA, FLA. (WSVN) - A teen suffered a medical episode, and a school nurse and resource officer were caught on camera working to keep the teen alive.
It was a frantic few minutes as William Mellana, a school resource deputy, and Alicia Robertson, a school nurse at a high school in Tampa, worked to save the student’s life.
“It felt like an eternity,” said Mellana.
The incident happened on Tuesday, at around 3 p.m. Robertson said she was crossing campus when she was told a student collapsed outside.
“I turned him over and assessed him and realized that his pulse was weak and thready,” said Robertson.
She quickly called Deputy Mellana over, who also called for backup. In the meantime, they knew he needed immediate lifesaving care.
“He had what I was trained as agonal breathing, so it looked like he was breathing, it looks like his eyes were open, it would appear like he was responding to the nurse’s chest sternum rubs, but the reality is, he wasn’t,” Mellana said. “He was out. He was done, and that’s what the [automated external defibrillator] told us.”
That decision saved his life. The student was in cardiac arrest. Agonal breathing is the body’s natural reflex to gasp for air and get oxygen when the brain isn’t getting what it needs to survive.
“The AED provided a shock, and then it said ‘CPR,’ so we just did CPR until [emergency medical service] arrived,” Mellana said.
It was the first time both of them had used the AED at school, and it did exactly what it was supposed to do.
The student is doing well. He’s already back at school.
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