This cheer mom was sitting on ready.
Andrea Joe, mother of high school cheerleader, Keianna Joe, helped save her daughter when she became unresponsive during a warmup for a cheerleading competition at a North Carolina high school on March 5.
According to Good Morning America, the mother immediately jumped in with her knowledge of CPR.
“I immediately ran to her side and I felt for a pulse and I didn’t feel a pulse,” Andrea said. “I am CPR-certified…I’ve been trained on an AED device and I knew kind of at that moment that she needs this…and I know how to do it.”
Teammates of the high school senior noticed something was wrong as they were letting her down from the air during a stunt.
“I gripped onto my base and I didn’t let her go and that’s when they knew something was wrong and they slowly let me down to the ground,” Keianna said, thankful that her teammates knew not to panic and to get her down safely.
A good samaritan handed Andrea an automated external defibrillator, or AED, that was stored in the high school’s gym. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the portable medical device uses technology to analyze the heart rhythm before delivering an electrical shock appropriate for restoring the heart to its normal rate.
“I grabbed the pads and I just kind of ripped her uniform up over her head and threw the pads on her and hit the button,” Joe said. “It said, ‘shock advised,’ and that was alarming because you train on these devices all the time and every time you train on them, they never deliver a shock because it’s not a live patient.”
Keianna is currently home and recovering after being transferred to Duke University Hospital, where doctors noted she had gone into cardiac arrest. The cheerleader remained in the hospital for weeks in critical condition, where she underwent surgery on Monday to insert an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
“Her mom delivering high-quality CPR to her for the few minutes it took to get the AED there basically allowed her to escape with no brain damage,” said Dr. Zebulon Zachary Spector, the pediatric cardiologist who performed Keianna’s surgery. “And she’s probably alive because there was an AED on-site and her mom knew how to use it.”