Teen who survived sudden cardiac arrest helps rescue classmate


Ward Alternative School Principal Grady Pruitt with Powerheart AED donated by the Indianapolis chapter of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Assocation. Wtih him, left to right: Kristi Polcsak, her son Tyler Byall, and school nurse Mary Hess.

18-year-old Fort Wayne, Indiana, high school senior Tyler Byall has confronted sudden cardiac arrest, not just once but twice in the past two years.

The first time was last September, when Byall’s heart stopped beating as he slept. Quick action on the part of his parents got him to the hospital, where he was revived using an automated external defibrillator(AED).

Last month, just a year and a day after his own brush with SCA, Byall was on hand to help when a classmate at North Side High School collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest. Byall was the first person on the scene when sophomore Abey Luttman suffered sudden cardiac arrest as she stood near her locker at the end of the school day. Another student ran for a teacher, who arrived to find Byall already assisting Abey.

“I knew what needed to be done somehow,” Byall told a reporter from Wane.com news. “We were there, and we did the chest compression and checked the pulse.”

While Byall and others did CPR, school’s nurse, Sunny Stachera, arrived moments later with the school’s AED. She was able to use the AED to revive Luttman, who was transported to the hospital for treatment.

Luttman, like Byall, now has an implanted defibrillator, and has been able to return to school.

Byall and school staff involved in the rescue were honored in by the Fort Wayne School board in October. The Indiana chapter of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association donated a Powerheart G3 AED to the Ward Alternative School in Fort Wayne in honor of Byall and his role in the rescue.

For more information about Indiana AEDs, please contact AED specialist Troy Pflugner.

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