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!