CIRCLEVILLE – On October 12 During Circleville High Schools Homecoming Dance a 14-year old student fell into cardiac arrest and went unresponsive in the middle of the dance floor.
Sergeant Mathew Hafey of Circleville Police Department who was working special duty that night immediately responded with CPR. Because of the Sergeants training he could tell that her heart had stopped and he would have to use the AED (Automatic Electronic Defibrillator).
After a AED is installed it detects heart-rate and recommends defibrillation if no heart beat is detected. This was the case with the 14 year old student, the defibrillator worked and brought the 14 year olds heart back into rhythm.
Circleville Fire/EMT arrived at the scene quickly and transported her to Berger Hosptial, and then she was emergency helicoptered to Children’s Hospital.
Later it was learned that she suffered from a unknown heart defect from birth, that her or her family was aware of. Since then she has had heart surgery, and the doctors were able to repair her heart defect. She is expected now to make a full recovery.
Doctors advised that Sergeant Hafey’s actions with immediate CPR and immediate use of the AEP prevented any further heart damage or brain damage from the event.
Sergeant Hafey said this was the highlight of his 16 year career. He said he had difficulties sleeping that night worried if she would be ok.
His wife said that he texted his daughters and told them that, “he loved them.” after the incident and when he gets updates on her condition its one of the first thing he talks about when he gets home.
Today November 4th Chief Shaun Baer awarded Sergeant Hafey with the lifesaving award.