Olathe mother helping to educate others about cardiac arrest in youth and teens

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OLATHE, Kan. — More than 200 parents and children received free heart screenings and hands-only CPR lessons Saturday.

It was in honor of Olathe teen, Brennan Connell, who suffered cardiac arrest while on the pitcher’s mound at a baseball game at Blue Valley Southwest in May.

Before the crowd of onlookers, he dropped to the ground.

While the doctors still haven’t found an exact diagnosis, the 16-year old is pretty much back to normal.

His mother is using this scary experience to spread awareness.

“Bystander response is what saved my son’s life. If those folks hadn’t been there and been able to step up and do what they did by time the paramedics got there, it could’ve been a much different story,” said Brennan’s mother, Kristin Connell.

With the help of the Olathe Fire Department, and Athletic Testing Solutions, Connell launching the BC20 project, providing free heart screenings and teaching hands-only CPR.

A method fire officials say is the easiest way to save somebody’s life.

“It’s the most basic way you can help save somebody`s life. Every minute that passes before help survives, their chance of survival goes down 10 percent,” said Public Education Specialist at Olathe Fire Department, Kristin Peterson.

According to the American Heart Association, 9,500 kids are impacted by sudden cardiac arrest annually.

Connell realizes her son, Brennan is one of the lucky teens.

“He spent two weeks in the hospital. He is doing amazingly well. None of it could have gone any better, other than if it just didn’t happen. If it didn`t happen, we wouldn’t be here trying to help others,” Connell said.

Starting in 2018, the State of Kansas requires everyone who graduates to learn hands-only CPR.

The Connell family wants to keep the momentum going with this initiative and teach younger children and parents.

More events are being planned, specifically at Olathe area high schools.



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