GATES COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) – A group of teachers and a school resource officer are being called heroes after saving the life of a 10th-grader who went into cardiac arrest.
February 24 is a day the teachers at Gates County High School will never forget.
“He was going from class in the main building to the new gym and while going down here, the students with him said he just dropped,” said technology, engineering and design teacher Donnie Hudson. “No indication beforehand, no weird behavior, just out of nowhere, fell.”
Word spread quickly that 10th-grader Jaylen Beamon was down.
“The information went a lot quicker, spread through the school quickly because a lot of kids witnessed it,” said Hudson.
“When I saw the student was down, I knew who it was, knew his family, knew his history and immediately knew it was a cardiac arrest situation,” said School Resource Officer Deputy Robert Jordan.
Jordan has known the family for years. He said in his 14 years at the school, he never had to perform CPR on a student. But on that day, he didn’t waste any time.
“We had one group that was doing compressions, we had a group that was cheering,” said Jordan. “I guess we had about 10 to 15 people just cheering ‘Come on Jaylen, you can make it, you can make it.'”
Beamon was airlifted to Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk. He says he doesn’t remember much about that day.
“I just remember where I was at before it happened,” he said.
Doctors said he has a large muscle in his heart — something that’s hereditary — and inserted a pacemaker. His family is thankful he’s still here.
“It’s indescribable,” said his mother, Sakara Miller. “I’m very grateful, very grateful, very grateful that they allowed God to use them. He had 15 angels around him.”
Those angels say it was all in a day’s work.
“It was just part of our job that day,” Hudson said.
“God led us to this situation,” Jordan said. “He prepared us for it and he really manifested his power that day.”
Beamon says he’s looking forward to getting back to school with his friends but knows things will be different. His doctors told him he can’t play any contact sports, and he used to play football and basketball.
His family is grateful for the community’s support.
“I want to say thank you to the community, they have been wonderful,” said Julia Beamon, his grandmother.