HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (KDVR) — Staff at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch knew just what to do when one of their teachers collapsed on the basketball court earlier this school year.
Chris Lowther, a math teacher and former coach, was playing a pick-up game with other teachers and parents one Friday morning when he had a heart attack and collapsed right on the court.
“I basically fainted,” Lowther said. That’s when the other players jumped into action.
“He didn’t have a pulse anymore and that’s when I started CPR,” said Dr. Mark Murray, a parent who is also a neurologist at Littleton Adventist Hospital. He continued compressions while staff called 911 and got the the automated external defibrillator (AED).
Teacher Emmanuel Engulu says Valor had recently provided training for this.
“We knew that it was serious, and that’s when your training kicks in,” Engulu said.
He helped get Lowther’s shirt off, and the group set up the AED.
Murray says the staff training paid off.
“They put the pads on him without me stopping CPR, and then after we got those on, we cleared everybody. We shocked him once, resumed compressions, still didn’t have a pulse when we checked, and then we ended up shocking him again, and then his pulse came back, and he started to revive, but these guys were great,” he said.
“I woke up right here on the floor,” Lowther said.
He was breathing when paramedics arrived. They took him to Littleton Adventist.
“It’s God watching over me, knowing it wasn’t my time,” Lowther said.
He says he is grateful that his colleagues were so well trained.
So is Dr. Murray.
“They knew how to do everything,” he said. “I think Valor should be commended, and everybody needs go get that training. You never know when you’ll need it.”
The American Heart Association can provide CPR and AED training.