top of page

Student in Dallas-Fort Worth saved by school staff trained in CPR and AED

AEDs and CPR Are Vital School Safety Measures
AEDs and CPR Are Vital School Safety Measures

Healthforce Training Center offers the AHA Heartsaver CPR training course and the AHA Heartsaver First Aid CPR training course intended for lay persons to properly respond to cardiac emergency situations. Part of the training is teaching participants how to use an AED device.

Amanda Cox, 17, was in detention. She wasted a Saturday because she had the bad luck to get caught chewing gum in class. She was offered a choice by her detention officer: either she could summarize a piece of writing for the detention officer, or she could walk outside and help the others clean up trash.

Although it seemed strange to Amanda that the detention officer was asking her to do something that would actually warrant detention, she decided to go with option number one because it was so sweltering hot outside.

When she was given the option to choose between three articles, she chose the one about a high school student from the neighborhood whose life was saved by an AED after she suffered a cardiac arrest during basketball practice.

Other schools in their district acquiring AEDs were covered in the story. She was required to express her opinion, so naturally, in all her infinite teenage wisdom, she wrote that the devices would be of little use and that the money would be better spent on a school-wide arts initiative that the students could take advantage of.

She had no idea that the object she had assumed would accumulate dust would ultimately cause her to change her mind, allow her heart to be opened, and begin the adventure she was so fortunate to be on.

A few months later, Amanda is seated in math class. It’s the day before her first prom. She had a stunning red dress hanging in her closet at home, and her parents had spared no expense, yet she was miserable. She had begged her parents to let her stay at home that morning.

She wanted to get some sleep so she would be fresh for prom the next night. They refused to believe it and advised her to phone them if she felt bad after lunch so they could send one of them to fetch her up.

So Amanda sat there. She looked up at the clock, counting down the minutes until the bell sounded and she could dash for the front office to phone someone to pick her up.

The little she had managed to eat at lunch felt like a rock in her stomach. Even though she had occasionally dozed off in class, she was unable to make her body stop feeling exhausted, no matter how much sleep she gave it.

The clock she had been focusing so closely on started to wobble as there were less than five minutes remaining in class. Her eyes got hazy as her eyes blinked back and forth. She instantly knew she was about to pass out.

She had already passed out from heat exhaustion, so this was not the first time. Her body shut down, her thoughts racing in panic. Before she lost her balance, she attempted to turn. She went back to tell her friend that she wasn't feeling well, but she suddenly lost consciousness and was having a sudden cardiac arrest in the middle of her high school math class.

Panic broke out in the space. Children started grabbing their phones and dialing 9-1-1, the police, etc. The teacher phoned the principal's office while directing the pupils out into the corridor right away. A voice that was heard over the overhead speaker instructed teachers and pupils to stay in their classrooms and disregard the bell.

Coach Autry, who was a teacher in the adjacent classroom, pushed past the pupils and started doing CPR.

Not far behind him, the vice principal kicked off her heels and slid in to help with compressions. The principal then entered, carrying an entirely new AED that had been given to their school a month earlier.

Amanda was startled twice before she was able to return to her regular pace by that gorgeous device, which she had assumed would be old and dusty before it was ever used.

She managed to regain consciousness as the paramedics wheeled her out of the school and into the back of an ambulance headed for the hospital shortly after they arrived.

Congenital heart defect That’s what they told her later when the uproar subsided. It didn't seem real to her no matter how many times it was repeated in her vicinity; it was as if the charts had been mixed up with the person on the bed next to her.

The warning flags had always been there: sudden exhaustion throughout her childhood, and it seemed that the heat wasn't what was causing all of her blackouts. Amanda had an arrhythmia. A type of cardiac arrest known as ventricular fibrillation—an electrical malfunction—had occurred in her heart.

She was able to gather herself again after experiencing a great deal of rage, rejection, and then acceptance. Amanda started going to charities and events, where she met all kinds of people who had experienced what she had. Some are much older, while others are much younger. She discovered that everyone was affected by heart disease, regardless of their background.

Amanda started giving speeches at functions, sharing her experience and using it to collect money for regional and international charities. She worked closely with certain Medtronic representatives during a campaign for heart health, which led her to switch her major in college from art to public relations.

Amanda wished to influence people. She wanted to make a difference in people's lives if there was anything she could do, no matter how small, to help improve or save a life.

More importantly, they prospered. Recently, she applied for and accepted a job with the American Heart Association in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Healthforce Training Center offers the following CPR classes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area:

"I cannot express how supremely happy and proud I am to be a part of such a great organization and excited about what the future holds for my family and this amazing career journey I’ve started. But more importantly, I am so very lucky, and my heart is why."

We offer Heartsaver CPR AED courses in the following locations


bottom of page