AED and speedy reaction from school officer, nurse save Grandview girl’s life

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GRANDVIEW, Mo. — A teenager is alive because of the quick actions of a police officer and a high school nurse.

School nurse Mary Rhodes said several years ago, she fought to get automatic external defibrillators — or AED’s — in the Grandview School System. Winning that battle recently saved a girl’s life.

You would never guess from looking at Isabella McMahill that she has a heart condition and nearly died in a Grandview High classroom

“I got into class. Kate my friends told me you don’t look OK. You need to sit down,” Isabella said. “My lips were blue; my face was pale. She stepped into the hallway and she heard a thump. She looked back and saw me on the floor. I had a seizure.”

“And I did just like we are trained to do, shake and shout are you OK? No response,” Rhodes said.

She and Grandview police and school resource officer Brett Meyers ran to help. Isabella had flat-lined.

“By the time I got up to her, she took one breath, and that was it,” Meyers said. “Her face started turning blue, and I knew we had to get the AED on her real quick.”

Meyers’ body camera captured the moment when he and Roades used an AED to jump-start Isabella’s heart.

Watch the video above to see them in action. 

“The only thing that was going through my mind is that I wasn’t going to let her die here at the school,” Meyers said.

Thankfully, they saved Isabella’s life.

“I’m thankful,” she said. “I’m not going to take anything for granted anymore.”

Just two weeks after Isabella nearly died, she was back at school — the same bright-eyed girl, grateful for her heroes.

“To see her walk back into the school Monday — I’m not a very emotional person, but it definitely started cutting onions in here. I started tearing up. It’s just incredible to see her walking back in here.”

“We did what we were supposed to do and it turned out well,” Rhodes said.

Isabella now has a defibrillator inside her body and needs a heart transplant. Her mother said she will be added to the transplant list in 6 to 8 weeks.

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