[Masthead] A Few Clouds ~ 82°F  
Heat Advisory
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Deputy, educators save 13-year-old cardiac arrest victim

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sgt. Heath Walker of the Dyer County Sheriff's Office stands watch outside Three Oaks Middle School as a part of an expanded police presence on Tuesday afternoon. Beyond, a flag at half-staff acknowledges the devastating school shootings in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, the reason for the increased security at local schools this week. Just a few hours earlier, Walker's presence and training helped save a student's life at Northview Middle School. Nolan Gregory, son of Christi Gregory of Newbern and Shane Gregory of Tiptonville, Tenn. is now in stable condition after suffering a cardiac arrest in a seventh-grade classroom at Northview. Nolan's mother credits Walker, Northview Principal Tony Jones and Northview school nurse Denise Bargery for the quick response and training that saved her son's life.
As the majority of Dyer County students count down the days until Christmas break, the family members of one local middle school student are counting their blessings.

When Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box and Dyer County Schools Superintendent Dr. Dwight Hedge bolstered school security in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., they hoped the extra help would not be needed.

But that extra manpower proved to be a lifesaver for Northview Middle School student Nolan Gregory, who was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in March.

"We had a student go into cardiac arrest today at Northview Middle School," said Hedge. "The student was resuscitated, transported, and airlifted to LeBonheur. Our understanding is that he is stable. Our people did a fantastic job."

Gregory benefited from the quick thinking of Northview Middle School Principal Tony Jones, Northview school nurse Denise Bargery and Sgt. Heath Walker of the Dyer County Sheriff's Office.

"I want everybody to know how thankful I am for Denise Bargery, Mr. Jones and Heath Walker," said Nolan's mother, Christi Gregory. "God put those people there at the right time. Heath Walker was actually there because of the threats that were going on, which was a godsend because he was an EMT. He and Mr. Jones started CPR and Denise came in with the defibrillator and shocked him three times and got him back."

Walker was at Northview as part of the sheriff's department's increased visibility at the county schools this week. He was assigned to Northview in the morning and to Three Oaks Middle School after the lunch hour.

Walker said he was in the cafeteria when he noticed several students run out of a nearby classroom. When school personnel hurried in, Walker joined them. Together, the trained professionals saved Nolan's life with the help of an A.E.D., or automated external defibrillator.

"I am glad we had Walker assigned to Northview this morning," said Box. "I am proud he used his professional training to respond to the situation. He has always gone well above the call of duty - in his job performance now, and as an EMT. He was always a top-rated EMT."

Nolan's heart condition was discovered when he went to the doctor for a sinus infection last spring. When a murmur was detected, his physician ordered more tests and discovered a genetic disorder. The disorder causes a thickening of the heart muscle that often leads to cardiac arrest.

Gregory said, many times, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy goes undetected until young athletes suffer a cardiac arrest in the midst of physical exertion. Nolan was not participating in a physical activity at the time he collapsed.

Gregory credits communication with Bargery as another factor that saved her son's life.

"Denise was fully aware of Nolan's condition and knew exactly what to do," said Gregory. "So when he passed out, she knew to take action."

Gregory said her son is in currently in stable condition. He is sedated and resting as his physicians plan further tests.

"We still have a lot of unanswered questions, but his heart is beating," said Gregory. "I am thankful to all of them for responding as quickly as they did and for saving my child's life. And I am thankful for everybody in the whole school system for showing their support. They are definitely my angels."

"An event like this emphasizes the training and preparations we had in place," said Hedge. "And the result is a good Christmas present for everybody."

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on stategazette.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Way to go GREAT JOB!!!!

-- Posted by fedup4144 on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 8:05 AM

Praise God ever one knew what to do!Thank all that was involved!

-- Posted by chief_ty20 on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 10:17 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: