04:45 AM

Ceremony gives CPR recipients-and Med-Act-a chance to say thanks

Whether it's the bystander who performed CPR, the EMT who stabilized a patient or a firefighter who gave life-saving services - they're all HeartSafe Heroes to Johnson County Med-Act.

The county last week honored five groups of helpful bystanders and emergency personnel who came to the aid of five different people in the past year.

For Gage Banks, their efforts were a miracle. Gage, a 14-year-old freshman at Blue Valley North, doesn't remember his heart stopping at a cross-country meet at Johnson County Community College last September.

Capt. Tom Turner does. The Johnson County firefighter was off-duty that day and was in the stands to watch his daughter, Hannah, run. She asked him if they could stay to watch the boys run, too, and he agreed.

Not long after, she came to him and said a boy had collapsed - Gage. Turner thought it might have been from an injury, but it became clear that the situation was more serious.

He and Prairie Star Middle School nurse Theresa Donaldson rushed into action, providing CPR for eight minutes until other emergency personnel arrived on the scene. They shocked Gage with an AED and were able to stabilize him for a trip to the hospital.

"I was very blessed with the people who were there," Gage said.

After the ordeal, he recovered enough to go back to school, then sat out the last two months of the semester after having open heart surgery at Children's Mercy Hospital.

Read more via Kansas City Star