As reported in the CHSAA NOW, licensed athletic trainers like Ashley Cowan prepare for the worst, but one can only be so ready for when a worst-case scenario actually arrives.
That moment came for Cowan on Jan. 4 at Bear Creek, where she works as the school’s athletic trainer. Near the end of the first quarter during a girls basketball game between the Bears and visiting Heritage, basketball official Harold “Woody” White collapsed on the court because the battery inside his pacemaker had died.
Suddenly faced with a life-threatening situation, Cowan immediately rushed to White’s aid as he gasped for air and his condition quickly worsened. With help from Jill Wapelhorsts, a Heritage parent who works as a respiratory therapist, Cowan instructed Bear Creek athletic director Zach Morris to call an ambulance and had a student run to get the school’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED). After a shock was delivered, the pair continued to administer CPR until White was once again alert and breathing.
His life was saved.
Once White had awakened, an off-duty police officer assisted Cowan in calming him until the paramedics arrived shortly after he woke up. It was the first time Cowan had been forced to act quickly and administer emergency medical procedures in order to save someone’s life, and she passed the test with flying colors. So did the Emergency Action Plan at Bear Creek.
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