NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A family is grateful after an assistant principal managed to bring a student who suffers from seizures back to life.
Jimmy Kistner was relieved to see his daughter, Kennedy Kistner, smile because he hadn’t in a few days.
“You hate to see that phone call, especially during school hours,” Jimmy Kistner said. “It kind of makes my heart start, my adrenaline start rushing.”
Kennedy, a freshman at Strattford High School, suffers from seizures. Doctors don’t yet fully understand why.
“I’ve had them ever since I was about 8 years old,” Kennedy said. “I just fall out and actually come back.”
Last week, Kennedy suffered a seizure while she was leaving school with her friends. This time, she didn’t come back.
“She went still and immediately we checked her vital signs, pulse and breathing, and she started to gradually turn blue,” said Jeff Davis, assistant principal at Strattford High.
Davis performed CPR for five minutes.
“She’s one of mine,” Davis said. “That’s how we feel here. I was working as urgently as I would have if it was my own daughter.”
Kennedy had flat-lined. With help, Davis was able to bring her back to life.
“I knew the more people, the better,” he said.
In their lifetime, most people never end up performing CPR. The other time Davis had to do it, he was 16 and his father had just had a heart attack.
“I just got retrained this year,” Davis said.
Kennedy said Davis is now her hero.
“I owe him my life,” she said.
According to Davis, it was a group effort and part of his job.
“Even now, just talking about it, you feel your emotions coming up because you care for these kids,” Davis said. “You’re not only responsible for their education, their health and safety from 7:05 to 2:05, but you sincerely care about them. This is what we do.”
Medics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center moved Kennedy from the ICU Tuesday night. They now know that her heart is what’s causing the seizures. Her family said now that they know the root of the problem, they hope Kennedy will find a long-term solution and be able to live a normal life.