Coach Uses Defibrillator To Save Pea Ridge Teen

PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KFSM) -- A coach and a school nurse saved the life of a Northwest Arkansas high school student Friday after she collapsed in the classroom.

Kennedy Allison, a Pea Ridge cheerleader, dropped to the floor of her classroom suddenly. Her teacher immediately sent two students to contact the school nurse, LaRay Thetford, and principal, Charlie Clark.

Thetford arrived at the classroom and said she was shocked to find out the student was a close family friend.

"Well at first I did not know who she was when I realized who it was I got emotional," Thetford said.

The school's coach and health teacher John King was in the area when it happened and he said when he noticed what was going on he grabbed the AED off of the wall and went to help. King has extensive emergency training and teaches it in his classes.

"When I walked in it was serious," King said. "There were no signs of life from the girl and at that moment it set in that we've got an issue."

King and Thetford performed CPR and used the defibrillator to try and save Kennedy. Moments later EMT arrived.

Kennedy was brought to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock. The cause of the incident was ventricular fibrillation, a serious heart condition.

Kennedy is recovering in Little Rock and Thetford said the family hopes she will be sent home Thursday.

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