Teen recovering after heart suddenly stopped at school

Posted at 11:01 AM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 13:01:28-04

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    EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR/KAUT) — Chase McManis is the picture of perfect health.

The 15-year-old runs cross-country and track, and plays soccer. He’s even a healthy eater.

But while he was at school on Sept. 7, his heart simply stopped.

“They thought he had had a seizure, but there’s no signs of a seizure. It was just his heart had stopped, which they didn’t know that,” said his mom, Tammy McManis.

Chase had just finished 10 pull-ups in his ROTC class when he fell to the floor.

“Just went over there real easily, just did 10 pull-ups, dropped down, took two or three steps and then all of a sudden collapsed,” said Tammy.

Major Eric Weingaertner, an ROTC instructor, and Chris Tobler, a UCO cadet visiting the school, jumped into action.

“I saw some color changes on his lips and decided that we needed to, we needed to perform CPR,” said Weingaertner.

“Chris, did, I think, three rounds of 30 compressions while Major did the breaths. So we owe everything to those two guys,” said Tammy.

Emergency crews arrived and had to shock Chase’s heart four times.

“On this call, we used two of these monitors and it did make a difference,” said Sgt. Kyle Shelton, with the Edmond Fire Department.

Chase was rushed to the hospital, where he remained sedated for two days.

“How does this happen? We have no idea,” said Tammy.

Doctors ran test after test and everything came back perfectly normal.

“Nothing shows up on MRI’s or echo-cardiograms or EKG’s or all those medical terms that I don’t even know what they’re doing. But there’s nothing there. He is completely healthy,” said Tammy.

Chase suffered slight liver and kidney damage, but his body has been able to heal that.

Everyone has been crediting the quick and quality CPR he got.

“Everything is perfect because of that CPR. If he’d have gone a few minutes, it would’ve been a different story. We’d be looking at a different kid,” said Tammy.

The Edmond Fire Department says Chase is a living, breathing example of why learning CPR is so important.

“The fact that they started CPR greatly increases your chance of survival, up to three or four-fold,” said Sgt. Shelton.

“That I think is all in God’s plan because he knew those were the guys at the school who could save his life,” said Tammy.

“Whenever I get to go back and see them, I will thank them for saving my life,” said Chase.

Doctors will now turn to genetic tests to see if they can find a cause behind Chase’s episode.

The McManis family has been leaning on their faith during this time and says no matter what they find, they’re at peace.

“Either it was just one of those fluke things or there was something wrong and God healed him. So either one, I’m fine with,” said Tammy.

Doctors implanted a pager-sized defibrillator in Chase’s chest in case this ever happens again.

But they’ve told him he should be able to go back to a completely normal life and able to get back to running in a few months.

Chase says he doesn’t know why this happened to him but he feels God has a bigger purpose and plan in mind.

“He’s got this big path for something amazing in the future that no one will ever understand. And I’m in the middle of it. And it makes me feel pretty cool. It makes me feel special.”

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