PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KFTA) — A school nurse and a coach save the life of a Pea Ridge High School student after she suddenly collapsed in the classroom just one week ago today.
There are certain moments that prove life can flash in an instant.
“She was basically dead when they got to her,” Keith Allison said. “There’s no doubt in our mind that God was in control the entire time, without a doubt.”
What started off as a normal day for Kennedy Allison, 14, changed in a heartbeat when suddenly she collapsed in class.
School Nurse Laray Thetford and coach/teacher John E. King took action immediately, using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that allowed her to gasp for air.
“He and I hooked her up and we shocked her. We continued to do CPR until the EMS arrived,” Thetford said.
Kennedy didn’t have a pulse, and every second was crucial.
“Instinct just took over,” King said.
Kennedy was taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, where she found out it was ventricular fibrillation, a serious heart condition.
“You have two healthy kids and you can’t — it just kind of seemed like what in the world is happening? Just trying to wrap my head around it,” Jennifer Allison said.
After undergoing a three-hour-long surgery, she’s finally back home.
“I was excited just to get home and see my friends and family. Also I know that I’m safe, and I’m also sore from surgery,” Kennedy said.
Her parents say the message from above is clear.
“God was in control of this and he is touching lives through this, but at the same time it’s very important that the AED’s are in these facilities, whether it’s the school or church or whatever. They’re very important,” Keith said.
Jennifer adds, “Her situation — which we were blessed to be sitting here today, if it helps spread awareness that saves one more life, it was worth the conversation.”
And while she should have been on the court cheering on the basketball team tonight, instead she’s counting her blessings.
“Just thank you for saving my life,” Kennedy said.
Friends have set up an Arvest Cares account because so many were wanting to help. The account is called “Kennedy Allison Cardiac Fund,” and donations can be made at any Arvest location.
Any funds raised over and above her medical expenses will be donated to purchase additional AED’s for school districts in need.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital offers free CPR and AED testing through Project Adam which can be arranged by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.