(Posted April 15, 2015)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
Colby Mast leaned against his father who put his arm around him. When the cameras came out, Colby threw his arms in front of his face.
“He’s a shy kid,” his mother, Amber, told West Jefferson council members and village officials at the April 6 council meeting. She also said she is glad to have him with her.
Colby, a first-grader, has had some health problems. He has an erratic heartbeat that at times measures as fast as 300 beats per minute, but has been controlled by medication.
In early March, Colby, who also suffers from asthma, went through a bout of pneumonia and had just returned to his class at Norwood Elementary. Mrs. Mast said she messaged the teacher that day, asking her to keep an eye on him.
Twenty minutes later, Principal Susan Barte “called me to tell me my son was in cardiac arrest,” Mrs. Mast said with tears in her eyes.
Colby’s teacher, Linanne Humphries, ran down the hallway to get the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Intervention specialist Rachel Stanley was walking past Humphries’ classroom when Colby collapsed. She and first-grade teacher Charlie Morris performed CPR on Colby until the emergency squad arrived.
Colby was headed for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, but the emergency squad stopped at Doctor’s Hospital when Colby went into cardiac arrest again.
Mrs. Mast said her son was stabilized at Doctor’s Hospital then taken to Children’s Hospital for treatment.
At the April 6 meeting, village council recognized Humphries, Morris and Stanley for their actions. After Mayor Darlene Steele read the commendations for each of the three adults, she handed the certificates of appreciation to Colby to distribute to the three honorees.
“I’m glad it happened at school,” his mother said. “If it happened at home, I don’t think I’d have him today. I don’t think I could have handled it at home.”
Barte said many of the teachers at Norwood have been trained in CPR, and another CPR training will be held June 1. It is her personal goal that each teacher complete the training. “It’s not mandatory right now,” she said.