Nurse helps save the life of teenager at Royals game

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A teenager who collapsed at the Royals game Thursday evening was revived by a nurse who serves on the Kauffman Stadium K-crew.

The girl was dancing in the upper-deck stands when she suddenly collapsed.

Sam Sapanero, a nurse at Children's Mercy Hospital, rushed from her K-Crew post to perform chest compressions, realizing the 14-year-old's heart had stopped beating.

"She went from K-Crew to nurse-mode and stayed that way right up to the point that we transported the patient," said Toby Cook, V.P. of Community Affairs and Publicity for the Royals.

The K-Crew helps generate excitement among fans between innings and tosses out hot dogs and T-shirts to the crowd.

When the teenager collapsed, the Royals and Angels had just ended the bottom of the first inning. The teenager and others with her were shown dancing on the big video board. Then the video shot shifted to other people.

"We took a couple of other different shots and at this point she went to the ground," Cook described.

"To say it was fortunate that this young woman from the K-Crew is a registered nurse is an understatement. She was there. She knew what to do. She provided comfort. She was able to give guidelines," he said.

Nurse Sam

Cook said the teen was talking and awake while being transported to Children's Mercy.

After the girl was in other caring hands,  Sapanero tweeted out her thanks to all those who recognized her swift response.

She received tweet replies such as:

"Thank God you were there. Way to act quickly, thank you for doing what needed to be done!"

"You're awesome. That's all there is to it."

"If they waited until an ambulance arrived the chance of survival is probably less than ten per cent," said Mike Latta, EMSDivision Chief at Kansas City, Mo. Fire Dept.

Sapanero performed continuous chest compressions on the girl until medics arrived.

"You don't know when it's going to occur. I mean the background of this young lady.. no would have ever thought, 'sudden cardiac death'. No one would have ever seen that coming, so you just don't know when it's going to happen," said Latta.

The teenager's family asked for privacy for her, so the hospital is not releasing her condition at this time.

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