LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - In October 2018, two Longview High School trainers saved a coach’s life near Lobo Stadium by using CPR and a defibrillator. When the Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers meets Monday in Austin, Deirdre Scotter and Kristin Croley will be recognized for their actions.
Ken Jernigan teaches math at Judson Middle School in Longview, but he’s also a cross-country coach at the high school. He had a known heart issue before he started at LISD.
“After being released by the doctors and everything, I started back to my running routine with my cross-country kids,” Jernigan said.
As he wrapped up practice October 22, he headed up a hill near the school where his runners were.
“I started walking back toward the group. I noticed it started getting a little bit dark,” Jernigan said.
He didn’t remember passing out. His athletes ran to the training room, and they told Deirdre Scotter and Kristin Croley.
“So knowing Coach Jernigan’s heart history, I just took off, yelled for Croley to get the AED, and we both made it out there. It was pretty close to the training room where it happened. We didn’t have to go far,” Scotter said.
“Checked for a pulse. I did. Couldn’t find one. It was kind of thready at first, then there was nothing,” Croley said.
“Went ahead and put the AED on. It analyzed him, advised a shock, shocked him right away,” Scotter recalled.
“Brought him back again,” Croley stated.
“Still went ahead, did some CPR. One of our coaches had already called for the EMS. I think EMS got there in six minutes. They got him on the ambulance,” Scotter relayed.
“The next thing I know I am in the EMS on the way to the hospital,” Jernigan said.
Jernigan said two cardiologists told him when the defibrillator advises shock:
“That that’s considered sudden cardiac death,” Jernigan relayed.
The defibrillator and the training saved his life.
“I was on death’s door,” Jernigan stated.
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Commissioner Mike Arismendez heard about it, and decided the heroes should be recognized, so it’s on the agenda at Monday’s meeting.
And as it turns out Arismendez was a former student of Jernigan’s.
“I just happened to have coached [Arismendez] my very first year of coaching and teaching,” Jernigan said.
Scotter, Bell and Ken Jernigan will all be at the Austin meeting at 9 a.m. Monday. The event will be streamed live on YouTube at this link.