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13-year-old heart attack survivor doing quite well

by Mark Schnyder

KMOV.com

Posted on June 1, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 1 at 7:24 PM

What a party!  I was in the Francis Howell Middle School gym this morning and it was electric in there.  Okay, it would be electric anyway on this, the final day of the school year.  But what was happening in there was much bigger deal than saying good-bye for the summer.

It was saying hello to a fellow student who almost died in the same gym three weeks ago.  Thanks to some alert friends and a nurse and school resource officer who knew what to do Austin is recovering from heart surgery and is going to be okay.  But the real life-saver here isn't a person... it's a machine.  The Francis Howell School District bought Automated External Defibrillators (AED) for each school ten years ago.  That machine shocked Austin's heart into action again.  That's why he's alive.

Austin doesn't look like a kid who almost died.  He told me he's ready to kick off his summer going over to a friend's house tonight.  He says his scars from the heart surgery are healing and he's moving on with his life.  He parents are proud... thrilled... relieved.

The entire student body cheered for Austin and his family and all the people who played a roll in saving his life.

It's going to be a great summer.

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