Student that had heart attack returns to school

Tampa, Florida -- 15-year-old Charlie Curtis doesn't remember collapsing while he was running around Plant High School's track on April 29.

He doesn't even remember being on the track.

His first memory afterwards is a doctor telling him he'd had a heart attack and that Plant staff had saved him.

Charlie returned to school on Thursday, his arm in a sling and a pacemaker implanted in his chest. He took time to thank the people who saved him, including P.E. coach Carrie Mahon, school nurse Kayla Spillman and school resource officer Mark Holloway. They quickly administered CPR with an AED or automated external defibrillator.

"When they were doing CPR," Charlie said as he stood on the track at Plant High, "I felt like I was floating above everyone. I felt no emotion, but I knew the situation was going on--but I was above my body."

All school in Hillsborough County are equipped with AEDs and Plant High School has four on campus. One of them was just 50 feet from where Charlie collapsed.

"Trained staff around our children and an AED device can save and will save lives," said Charlie's father Chuck Curtis. "As a community and parents we might want to examine where our children are at, and the risks that would be easy to take care of with just knowledge and education of the proper equipment."

"Never once did they leave our Charlie alone," adds his mother Lisa Curtis. "Someone from the school was with him during transport and in the emergency room. Carrie was there at Tampa General when we got there."

As for Charlie, the Plant High freshman is just grateful for the simple things.

"I'm just glad to be back into my normal life, even going to school this morning. Most people aren't excited to go to school but this morning I was very happy."


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment