Students step in to save Ohio teacher from medical emergency

U.S. & World

BRISTOLVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – Two students in Bristol, Ohio, may have had graduation on their mind, but when a medical emergency arose they recognized it and jumped into action.

Two weeks ago, Austin Cox was in his business class when he and Brooke Charlton noticed their teacher acting out of the ordinary.

“This is not a good sign. She’s never like this,” Charlton said.

They felt Kim Kapen was off-balance, struggling to speak, and they weren’t totally sure what was happening because she was wearing a mask. But they were concerned.

“We should just see [it], you know? So, we made the decision together. It was just interesting how we noticed it at the exact same time,” Cox said.

“I recognized she needed medical attention, so I said let’s go down,” Charlton said.

The two of them rushed down the hall, down the stairs, and into the principal’s office and alerted Tim Fairfield.

“I walked up with the two of them and noticed that she didn’t have everything together,” Fairfield said.

Fairfield called the school resource officer, who is an EMT, to check Kapen out, and then they called an ambulance.

The situation is close to Cox, whose grandfather has had three heart attacks. Because he and Brooke recognized the top signs and symptoms of a stroke, it helped Kapen. The principal believes they’re heroes.

“I wouldn’t consider myself a hero … it’s not like I went out of my way to save her life. I just knew what needed to be done at that moment,” Charlton said.

“I’m glad that she is OK. Who would’ve known if she had been in that room by herself what would have happened out of that situation? I’m glad that we were there, that someone recognized it and she was able to get the help she needed,” Cox said.

Cox won the principal’s award this year as the student who exemplifies what it means to be Bristol, winning the award the same day he helped Kapen.

The students are hoping to see Kapen Wednesday when they give gifts to the teachers. Kapen said she is tired but recovering.

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