Open gym night at Wednesday lasted just minutes before 17-year-old varsity softball player Hope Reindl collapsed while playing basketball.
Varsity basketball coaches Rick Miekley, a Sound Beach resident, and Justin Seifert, a Port Jeff Station resident, acted fast and helped save Reindl's life.
"I immediately came to her aside to evaluate the situation and noticed she was unconscious so I told Justin to call 911 right away," Miekley said. "I maintained an open airway as long as I thought she was breathing because she was on her side. Within a minute or two her breathing started to labor and get intermittent and I realized she actually stopped breathing because her face turned purple."
Miekley and Seifert rolled her on her back and sent a student to run and get the school's AED machine.
"I did about two rounds of CPR and the AED came," Miekley said. "Within about a minute after turning the AED on we were able to attach the pads and deliver a shock it called for one because there was no pulse. Immediately after, I went back to CPR and a minute later, EMS Terryville fire department showed up."
Miekley said she ended up leaving the building with an actual heartbeat, which was miraculous given that only a half percent of these victims actually end up surviving.
"It was quite the miracle for all of the things that happened to happen and for her to end up in recovery at ," he said. "The rumor is that it might be Sunday that she could come home, so it’s a happy ending all around."
The importance of CPR knowledge and having an AED on hand was stressed by Miekley, and also played a big role in saving while refereeing a basketball game in March.
"I taught first aid and CPR at SBU for 10 years, I worked as an atheltic trainer in their department and I actually certified college students," Miekley said. "With the AED coming around, it has miraculously improved the chances of survival. It’s important for everybody to take the course and for people to have that personality to kind of push them to do anything. With my training and my experience it was just something I did naturally.
"I’m a religious guy and I believe God wanted her to stick around. The chances of survival are so slim that there’s a reason why it worked and there’s a reason why she was playing basketball, because if she was anywhere else without an AED she wouldn’t have made it. I’m just happy to be able to help out."