Jan's Blog

14-year-old saved after heart stops

July 26, 2013

First, I heard sirens pass by my office in Waterville Valley – an incongruous sound in our little town.  Then, I heard the unmistakable whup, whup, whup sounds of the DHART helicopter overhead.

This morning I read this amazing story in the Union Leader online newspaper…

Boy, 14, saved at Waterville Valley after heart stops

By DAN SEUFERT
Union Leader Correspondent

WATERVILLE VALLEY – A 14-year-old boy’s heart stopped after he fell ill at the base of Snow Mountain while doing skiing exercises, according to fire officials.

But he was saved by his coaches, who managed to get an automated external defibrillator on his chest within 90 seconds, according to Fire Department Capt. Jeff Dropkin.

The boy, whose name was not released, was revived by CPR that his coaches and emergency responders performed on him immediately after he lost consciousness at about 2:30 p.m., Dropkin said.

He was taken by DHART helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon because “he’s a cardiac arrest patient, so he has to go there for further treatment,” Dropkin said.

Dropkin added that once revived, the boy began talking normally and his body functions mostly returned to normal.

“He came back to life quickly,” Dropkin said. “He seems fine now. Getting the machine on him within a minute and a half was key.”

His mother flew with him in the helicopter to the hospital, Dropkin said.

The boy’s ski coaches had recently taken CPR with Dropkin as their teacher.

“It was coaches with me, their CPR coach, standing above them,” he said.

Dropkin was not sure of the long-term prognosis of the boy. He wasn’t aware of any medical condition. If he has a less-than-serious health condition, he may be fine, he said.

“I’ve seen it happen,” Dropkin said. “Especially with someone young, if everything goes as it’s supposed to and he’s saved that quickly, he may okay.”

11:55 a.m., July 26 UPDATE from the Waterville Valley Department of Public Safety:

A great CPR save yesterday at the Waterville Valley Academy. The heroic actions of coaches, staff, and bystanders, Tim McLaughlin, Wes Preston, Peter Stokloza, and WV Resort Staff member Vivian Aristegui and the Waterville Valley Department of Public Safety (DPS) staff Jeff Dropkin, Tim Rosewarne, and Kevin Pierce made the difference in saving the life of a 14 year-old male athlete. Immediate CPR and early defibrillation made the difference. The young man was flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock via helicopter soon after the incident. Latest update that he was doing well and recovering with his family at his side. Just another reason that if you do not know CPR, learn how! DPS offers several classes a year. Nice job by everyone involved!

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget. 1-888-987-8333.

4 thoughts on “14-year-old saved after heart stops

  • susan belair says:

    I KNOW HOW GREAT THESE EMERGENCY WORKERS ARE THE FIRE,AMB, AND POLICE IF IT WAS NOT FOR THEM I WOULD NOT BE HERE TODAY SO THAT 14 YR OLD COULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN A BETTER PLACE FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO HAPPEN. WE HAVE THE BEST PEOPLE ON OUR PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT. SENDING BEST WISHES OUT TO HIM AND HIS FAMILY. SUSAN BELAIR

  • Amy Bayha says:

    My husband, two sons, and I wish to thank each and every responder for their individual ways of helping our son survive his ordeal last Thursday. In addition, the BBTS community has helped us get through this successfully and has our deepest gratitude. We hope to soon thank people individually, but until then this seemed like a good spot to reach out. As we have all been reminded, a trained group of first responders and access to an AED can make the difference between life and death. Due to his coach’s ability to realize the gravity of the situation and immediately implement CPR and the AED, our friend who called 911, and the quick response of the ski patrol member and WV public safety team, our son is with us today. Soon thereafter the helicopter DHART team and the pediatric ICU at Dartmouth immediately began stabilizing him. Our son is doing well and will hopefully be released from the hospital tomorrow. We are eternally grateful to all who worked as a team to save our son. Thank you.

    • Jan Stearns says:

      I’m so happy to hear from you, Mom, and to know that your son is doing well. The entire Waterville Valley community joins me in sending our very best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. Fingers crossed that he’s released from the hospital today and on his way back home!

      Jan

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