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‘I feel blessed:’ Good Samaritans save 90-year-old’s life at Ky. middle school volleyball game

‘I feel blessed:’ Good Samaritans save 90-year-old’s life at Ky. middle school volleyball game
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 6:02 PM EDT
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FLEMING COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - In Fleming County, a man suffered a medical emergency at a volleyball game Thursday night. A group of good Samaritans immediately stepped in to help, and ultimately saved his life.

The gym at Simons Middle School was packed with people. 90-year-old Leonard Harris, or Papaw Leonard, was in the stands cheering on his great-granddaughters.

“The main players are twins. They’re small, little girls, but they’re a ball of fire,” Harris said.

Sets and spikes stopped when spectators heard a cry for help.

“I heard someone screaming to call 911. I just looked up behind me and saw the gentleman slumped over and saw that he was very discolored,” Kayla Hay said.

Harris’s heart stopped beating.

“I started compressions immediately when I realized there was no pulse,” Hay said.

Another spectator, school employee Mendy High, said the situation was very intense.

“I had never seen someone have chest compressions done, except what I see and watch on TV or in our training videos,” High said.

High ran to get the only AED in the building.

“Never had to use it before but I’m very thankful it was there because I truly think it saved his life,” High said.

“We got his pulse back relatively quickly and then his eyes kind of fluttered when he started to wake up, which kind of shocked me,” Hay said. “Then I leaned over him and said, ‘buddy you’re going to be pretty sore, I’m sorry.’”

Harris said his ribs are a little sore, but he was thankful for the people who saved him. He was taken to Meadowview Hospital. They put a stent in his heart.

After the scary situation, he’s saying thank you to the good Samaritans with a smile.

“I feel blessed that my strength is coming back quickly,” Harris said.

School officials said the incident ended up being a lesson.

“I’m hoping that our district, in our future years, we can continue to put additional ones in our buildings because it certainly saved that man’s life,” High said.

As for they volleyball game, the girls won knowing their great-grandpa is okay.

Simons Middle School also thanks Debbie Workman, Jessica Simmons and Tisha Burgemier for helping Harris in the stands.

Harris is still being treated at Meadowview Regional Hospital. He was moved out of the ICU and is improving by the minute.

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