Pea Ridge Teen Honors The Heroes Who Saved Her Life

PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KFSM) — A Pea Ridge High School student is home and healthy just a week after she collapsed on the floor of her classroom, lifeless after going into cardiac arrest.

Kennedy Allison's heart stopped last Friday, and tonight, just a day after arriving home from Arkansas Children's Hospital, her heroes were honored.

Keith Allison and his wife Jennifer never expected to get the call that their perfectly healthy teenage daughter had collapsed at school.

"You just...you never want to see them in a situation where they might die, and she was dead basically," said Keith.

Kennedy went into cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation. Her heart stopped and she needed help fast.

“She was against the odds ya know, I mean there is a 17%  survival rate outside a hospital for v-fib,” said Keith.

The odds were shattered due to the quick and efficient action taken by school Nurse Leray Thetford, Coach John King and Emergency Responder Laron Edwards.

CPR was performed on Kennedy 30 seconds after she hit the ground, followed by shocks from an AED which Jennifer and Keith say was her saving grace.

“I said I love you to her and she mouthed it back so we knew she was there…and that was a really good thing,” said Jennifer.

Why this all happened remains a question for the Allison's.

“We may never know, but for whatever reason, if this was going to happen it happened in a place where life-saving measures were able to take place and bring her back to us,” said Jennifer.

Friday (Jan. 18) night those credited for saving her life were honored at the Pea Ridge High School boys basketball game.

The CEO of the Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville presented Thetford, King and Edwards with their awards just moments before Kennedy herself came out to surprise them and show her gratitude for her heroes.

“I mean thank you just isn't enough, but I think coach king best sums it up when he says this is without a doubt the most rewarding thing he’s ever done in his life. And we are certainly appreciative of that,” said Jennifer.

Right now the family is just thankful to have a happy, healthy Kennedy back home.

“She’s, she's good as gold. I mean she’s the Kennedy we always had and it’s not by chance,” said Keith.

Friends of the family set up an Arvest Cares Fund called "Kennedy Allison Cardiac Fund" for those wanting to help. Any additional money raised will be donated to buy additional AED's for her school district.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated the CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Children's Hospital presented the awards when it was actually the CEO of the Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville, where Kennedy was originally treated.

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