BONDURANT, Iowa — The Bondurant High School Dance Team wasn’t even supposed to be practicing on Tuesday, but a last-minute rehearsal put them in the right place at the right time to save a life.
“We were practicing right here, and then one of my teammates saw that outside he was laying there” Sierra Boge told WHO.
An elderly man had collapsed just outside of the main entrance while the dance team practiced inside in a hallway with a view outside. The team alerted their coach Nichole Lozano who sprang into action starting CPR.
“I was really scared because I knew that something was really wrong and that he needed help and I just reacted” said Lozano.
Lozano had completed CPR training in April. In February she found her husband unconscious at home due to a heart issue, and she didn’t know how to react. Now, she was keeping the man’s heart going while she yelled for her team to get the AED.
“All the doors were locked, so we were just banging on doors to try and get someone to hear us” said sophomore Alexis Crook.
Someone opened the door and the girls sprinted down the hall for the AED.
“It’s in the cafeteria, so it’s not terribly far, but it seemed far while we were running” said Boge.
They brought it back to Lozano along with a few more administrators and wrestling coaches; 911 was on the way. The man was still unconscious when first responders arrived and took over. Now that her job was over, Lozano’s mind started to race.
“I was just so concerned that I did something wrong, that I hadn’t done the compressions hard enough, you know when the rescue got there I saw how much harder they were pushing than me and so I was afraid that I didn’t push hard enough, or that maybe when I was giving him the breaths I wasn’t giving him enough breath” she said.
But she did do enough, the man regained consciousness while under medical care and underwent heart surgery on Tuesday; a massive weight off the team’s shoulders.
“Super relieving, and it was like going into Thanksgiving so it just made us extra thankful for everyone we have and for being here that day” said Crook.
The team rejects the hero label that people are giving them.
“I just happened to be the person that was here. I just did what anyone would have done to help someone that really needed it,” said Lozano.
While the team wasn’t supposed to be there that day, neither was the man. He was supposed to be watching his grandson’s wrestling match at the middle school but thought it was at the high school. While he didn’t want to be interviewed for this story, he is doing well post-surgery.