RICHLAND, WA– A Richland family is speaking out exclusively to KEPR Action News, after their son suddenly collapsed at Richland high school and was saved by a portable defibrillator.
Jeremy Brewer doesn’t remember much about the day he collapsed — only that it started out just like any other.
“We were walking down the street,” he says. :Having fun, making jokes. And we came down by the gym, and when we walked up the steps, I collapsed.”
It was lunchtime at the school. Students were milling around everywhere. But it was Jeremy’s two friends who knew immediately something wasn’t right.
“My friend Kale ran and got help, and my friend Joe stayed with me,” Brewer recalls.
But his memory ends there. It’s officials at the school who fill in gaps from there, saying the next two minutes after he collapsed literally saved his life.
It was the football coach, who grabbed the defibrillator off the wall in the gym and rushed to Jeremy’s side. The device the school had just gotten in September.
“When he went down, people were notified within seconds,” says Richland High School Principal Tim Praino. “The first responders giving CPR within that first minute, and the AED a minute later. The timing was just remarkable.”
Of course, it all came as a surprise to Jeremy’s parents, John and Kathy Brewer, who were notified of what happened with a phone call from the school.
John Brewer remembers the conversation exactly. “He basically said my son had collapsed and they had just got his heart started up, and I’m like, what?!”
And when the Brewers arrived at the hospital, they learned the ordeal was far from over.
“They said they had to send him to Seattle,” recalls Kathy Brewer. “It scared us to death.”
It’s still unclear exactly what caused Jeremy’s heart to stop. He’ll continue testing at Seattle Children’s Hospital. But the teen’s father says, all he knows, is that his son was in exactly the right place at the right time when it happened.
“Teachers, staff, and students at the school really went above and beyond to save Jeremy’s life.”