Everyday Heroes Honored For Saving Jenks Girl's Life
JENKS, Oklahoma - Several people who played a part in saving a Jenks girl's life were honored as heroes Monday night.
Thanks to quick action of teachers and nurses, 9-year-old Alexis Archer is alive after she went into sudden cardiac arrest outside her school two months ago.
It's still hard for her to wrap her mind around what happened, but Alexis's mom, Carolyn Archer, knows and so do the teachers and nurses.
“She's just, she's a miracle. Every, single day she's a miracle,” said Jenks school nurse, Lorna Spencer.
It's hard not to smile along with her when Alexis talks about all the things she loves, like dolls, puppies, kittens and the Super Bowl halftime show.
You'd never guess, seeing her now, that two months ago Alexis was lying on the lawn at her school with no heartbeat.
Her mom had just pulled in to pick her up when she noticed some commotion, then saw her 9-year-old's boots.
“It was terrifying. It was like the worst thing you'd ever imagine was happening right in front of you,” Carolyn said.
Before she could get to her daughter, teachers and nurses were already there.
“Lips blue, pale; it was horrifying, but we immediately jumped into action thanks to the training that Jenks gives us,” said Jenks Paraprofessional, Leslie Schepers.
Carolyn said, “It was just so well-orchestrated, and there were so many people doing all the right things that we have so such a great outcome with her. They treated our daughter like it was their child that day.”
One teacher called 911, while another teacher and nurse gave her CPR.
Jenks Speech Pathologist, Allison Conch said, “We had to time her breaths, each gasping breath she was taking.”
When Alexis had no pulse, they knew an AED - a device that shocks the heart back into rhythm - was the only option, and it worked.
“When I put my stethoscope on her chest, there was a pulse,” Spencer said.
Alexis doesn't remember anything, just waking up in a hospital bed with her parents by her side.
Alexis: “I didn't know what was going on.”
Tess Maune: “In your own words, what do you think happened?”
Alexis: “I fell. I fell. I think that's it.”
While she's not sure what happened that day, she's certain about who saved her life. Each person who played a role was given EMSA's Everyday Hero award during Monday night's school board meeting.
It was also a chance for Alexis's tearful mother to speak directly to almost all 16 of the women who saved her daughter's life.
“That day you didn't just save Alexis, you saved us, too. I just wanted to say thank you for that,” Carolyn said.
Although, for those on staff that day, Alexis's smile is all the thanks they need.
“Just to see her face, every day, that is all the thank you that I need, that any of us need,” Spencer said.
Alexis was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, a condition that causes her heart to beat a little longer than normal, which can cause it to go out of rhythm and then to stop.
Her mom said if Alexis had been screened with an EKG they would have known and been able to prepare.
Alexis now has a defibrillator in her chest, which will shock her heart back into rhythm if it becomes irregular.
Her mom said Alexis is a testament to the power of schools having an emergency action plan in place, including the use of CPR and AED's.