ALBANY, N.Y. February 6, 2007 - A school nurse and a physical education teacher in Glens Falls are being hailed as heroes today for reviving a 7-year-old child who collapsed during gym class - making this the 51st case in which an automated external defibrillator has been used in a school to save a life, New York State United Teachers announced.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said the student at Big Cross Street Elementary School in Glens Falls - identified in published reports as Adam Chen - collapsed during gym class on Friday. Physical education teacher Bryan Seybolt called for help, and school nurse Janel Martinez responded immediately. Iannuzzi said Martinez, with Seybolt's assistance, gave CPR and used the AED to restart Chen's heart. Chen is reportedly recovering at Albany Medical Center. Seybolt and Martinez are members of the Glens Falls Teachers Association.
"Janelle and Bryan are heroes who acted and saved a life," Iannuzzi said, adding the fact that the school had an AED was essential. "Teachers and parents worked hand in hand to ensure that every school has one of these devices within reach."
NYSUT took up the issue of AEDs in schools in 2001 after parent Rachel Moyer lost her son Gregory to a cardiac event. Fifteen-year-old Gregory Moyer collapsed during a school basketball game and could not be revived - in part because no AED was present.
Rachel Moyer, a teacher and union activist, and NYSUT leaders worked with parents' groups toward passage of a law in 2002 requiring AEDs in every school. Moyer told NYSUT today the Glens Falls incident is the 51st in which AEDs were used to save a life on school grounds in New York. She said Chen is the 13th - and youngest - child to be revived after suffering a cardiac event at school.
NYSUT represents 575,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.