Two students saved their P.E. teacher after he suffered cardiac arrest: ‘Medically, I was gone’

Stephen Nartey May 07, 2024
Isreal Dubose hugging her teacher Alfred Kattola, with Correy Coleman behind them. Photo: Fox 2 Detroit

A physical education teacher, Alfred Kattola, owes his life to the quick thinking of two students who saved his life after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

According to Kattola, a coach and gym teacher at the Oak Park High School in Detroit, he suddenly felt unwell during a student-teacher basketball match on March 22 before collapsing in the gym, suffering cardiac arrest.

“Medically, I was gone,” he told Fox News. According to the Mayo Clinic, cardiac arrest, also known as sudden cardiac arrest, results from a sudden malfunction in the heart’s electrical system, causing a cessation of its pumping function and halting blood flow throughout the body.

Following Kattola’s collapse, two of his students, Isreal DuBose and Correy Coleman, swiftly intervened, administering CPR to assist him.

“We’re in the stands… I just knew I had to do something,” said the 17-year-old DuBose. “I started compressions and about two and a half rounds of compressions, the (automated external defibrillator) AED was brought in and Correy placed the AED electrodes.”

“I was like, ‘Izzy, if you get tired, let me take over the compressions,’” ​​16-year-old Coleman added.

The two students, who are juniors at Oak Park High School, acquired CPR and first aid skills during a health science class from staff at the Oakland Schools Technical Campus.

“I’m so proud that they not only learned the skill but also felt confident in the ability to perform it in an emergency situation,” Angie Shaw, a registered nurse and instructor at the Oakland Schools Technical Campus, told the outlet.

“We thought we might use it at some point in our lives, but not so soon,” Coleman added.

DuBose successfully restored Kattola’s heartbeat using an AED, with paramedics subsequently transporting him to a nearby hospital. The coach returned to school the following week. Expressing gratitude, he reunited with DuBose and Coleman and thanked them for their pivotal role in saving his life.

“I don’t have much to say other than I love you guys,” he said. “What more can a teacher say?”

Kattola expressed his intention to support DuBose and Coleman in their aspirations for medical careers as they embark on their college journey.

“You’ve always been strong-minded… some kids just talk, and you put that into practice. And I know it will stay that way for the rest of your life. Keep that trust and don’t let anyone question you,” he told DuBose and Coleman. “If you have a backbone like that and the ability to back it up, no one can stop you. I love you. Thank you so much.”

According to the American Heart Association, over 356,000 cardiac arrests occur annually outside hospital settings in the U.S. CPR significantly boosts survival rates until emergency medical aid arrives.

Symptoms of cardiac arrest include sudden collapse, absence of heartbeat or breathing, and loss of consciousness. Early signs may involve chest discomfort, shortness of breath, weakness, and palpitations.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 7, 2024


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