ST. GEORGE – A Student Resource Officer saved the life of a Dixie Middle School student Tuesday who went into cardiac arrest after experiencing flu-like symptoms at school. The student was subsequently transported by Life Flight to a Las Vegas hospital.
Around 2 p.m., the student told her gym teacher she wasn’t feeling well so the teacher sent the student to rest in the nurse’s room until her parents arrived to pick her up, according to a Washington County School District media statement issued Wednesday afternoon.
Student Resource Officer Matt Schuman was in the office at the time and stayed with the girl to make sure she was OK until her parents arrived. The student was exhibiting flu-like symptoms and began to vomit, according to the statement. When the student’s father arrived at the school to pick her up, she collapsed to her knees.
After resting for a moment, the student’s father said he would take her to InstaCare because he felt her symptoms were part of the flu that had been going around in her family, the statement said. However, Schuman said he felt that something more was wrong and said he would call for an ambulance.
“It was at this time that the student’s father went to place her belongings in his truck when the student collapsed being caught by Schuman before hitting the ground,” the statement said, “and she then proceeded to have a seizure.”
After the seizure the student went into cardiac arrest, lost a pulse and stopped breathing. Without hesitation, the statement said, Shuman and Denim Lyman, another parent at the school during the incident, began CPR on the student.
Shuman continued CPR for two minutes and revived the student, according to the media statement. After a few moments of coming back to consciousness, the student went back into cardiac arrest. Schuman began CPR again until EMT services arrived on scene.
Medical services then used a defibrillator twice on the student to obtain a regular pulse. The girl was rushed to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George before being transferred via Life Flight to a hospital in Las Vegas.
While the exact cause of the episode has not been released to the public, St. George Police Sgt. Spencer Holmes confirmed Wednesday night that the incident was the result of a medical illness and was not drug-related.
The Washington County School District said it is committed to making sure students in the school district are protected and cared for in a safe learning environment, adding:
It is due to the heroic efforts and proficient training that we ‘Thank’ Officer Shuman for his quick thinking and fast response. We appreciate our partnership with the SROs in Washington County School District and thank the local police agencies for their unfailing dedication in keeping our students and staff safe within boundaries of our learning environments. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to officer Schumann for his outstanding performance.
According to the media statement, Shuman helped save the life of a 9-day-old infant as well Tuesday on his way home for the evening.
Schuman was headed home when he heard on his police scanner a 911 dispatch for an infant who was choking. Being the closest officer in the area – only three houses away – he proceeded to the location and began working to remove the obstruction in the child’s airway.
“He was successful in saving this child’s life,” the statement said, “as EMTs arrived and continued care.”
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