Atlanta, GA

Quick action with an automated external defibrillator saves a local student's life

Amy Cheribelle

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CARROLLTON, ATLANTA, GA — A sophomore at Carrollton High School (CHS), Issa Saba, experienced a life-threatening incident on May 10. Luckily, the school administration, nurse, and an automated external defibrillator device rushed to help the incident.

Susan Hall, the school nurse, received a call at around 8:15 in the morning when a student collapsed in Hector’s Hangout. She thought that the student had suffered a seizure, but when she tried to get close, there was no response, and he was not breathing properly on his own. So she started doing CPR and brought him an automated external defibrillator (AED).

An AED is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. The easy-to-use device can analyze the heart’s rhythm and deliver an electrical shock or defibrillation to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm. The use of AED continued for two cycles until the student began to move.

By that time, paramedics had arrived, Saba started responding to simple commands. He was then moved to Children’s Egleston Hospital/Healthcare of Atlanta for evaluation and treatment, but he has now recovered and plan to return to school in August.

Principal Ian Lyle required all faculty and staff members to attend this kind of annual training to equip themselves for rare incidents like this.

On the last day of school, May 28, Issa and his mother, Melissa Juarez, came to CHS to thank Hall and Lyle for their prompt action.

Craig George, assistant superintendent of Operations for Carrollton City Schools, noted that AED used to save the student’s life was awarded by Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation back in 2019.

“The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation focuses on public safety initiatives and we applied for the grant to purchase additional AEDs,” George stated. “While we already had AEDs in several locations, we wanted more to ensure easy access to one throughout campus. This purchase truly made all the difference in this student’s outcome and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

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