Carrollton middle school staff honored for saving student's life

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A group of staff members from Creek Valley Middle School were honored by the city of Carrollton for saving the life of a student who collapsed during volleyball tryouts.

Amanda Marquez was hoping to make the volleyball team this year. Instead, she is forced to spend the season watching from the sidelines. But she takes it all in stride and is grateful to be alive and for the people who saved her life.

Wednesday night was the homecoming Amanda never expected but was clearly humbled to receive. The 13-year-old was the unofficial guest of honor at her school's home volleyball game, supporting the very team she was trying out for on the morning of August 23 when she suddenly collapsed on the court.

“We were doing little warm-ups like passing the ball. Then we all got in a circle, and they started asking us questions,” Amanda recalled. “At that point, I just remember looking over to my friend, and that's it.”

The seemly healthy seventh grader, seen in a home video playing volleyball in the past, had gone into cardiac arrest.

A coach checked for a pulse, but Amanda had flat lined. A fellow student ran and got the principal.

Principal Nicole Jund used the automated external defibrillator, or AED, to deliver a single shock to Amanda’s heart.

“Our goal was to get quickly to the AED and quickly get back to Amanda with this device because we know that's what we need to do,” the principal explained.

A coach started CPR and 14 seconds later, Amanda began to breathe on her own.

Jund, her assistant principal who called 911, and the three coaches who played a life-saving role that fateful morning were awarded for their actions.

“On behalf of Carrollton Fire Rescue and the city of Carrollton, we present you the citizen Life Saving Award,” Assistant Chief Gregg Salmi told the group.

Jund tries to downplay the honor and Amanda, who cheered from the sidelines, has nothing but love in her heart.

“I’m seeing the people who saved my life getting an award that they really did deserve. It meant a lot to me,” Amanda said.

Amanda was as outfitted with a defibrillator and pacemaker that she’ll have to wear for the rest of her life.

Doctors say she can’t do any physical activity for the next six weeks. But Amanda says her goal is to try out for the volleyball team again next year.