High school student suffers 'sudden cardiac death' but is revived by food service worker

Thursday, May 16, 2019
High school student suffers 'sudden cardiac death' but is revived by food service worker
17-year-old Bryce Norman suddenly collapsed on campus but was brought back to life thanks to a food service worker who knew CPR.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It was a normal day at Minarets High. Students were having lunch when suddenly 17-year-old Bryce Norman collapsed.

"He just kind of randomly out of nowhere fell down, so his friends apparently thought he like fell asleep maybe he's playing," said classmate Mikayla Garaffa. "Maybe he's joking. Then he wasn't getting up. He wasn't answering. He wasn't moving."

His friends quickly ran for help. The first adult they saw was Cene Angle, a food service worker.

"It didn't look very good, I just knew that he needed someone to start CPR and I did," Angle said. "I'm just glad it saved his life."

Cene had recently completed a CPR class. She pumped his chest until music teacher Brett Moglia and Principal Daniel Ching took over. Moglia called for the AED machine.

"We administered the AED and it shocked our student twice," Ching said. "We got a pulse and breath after that."

"There's no question, there's no question it saved his life," said Ed Guzman of Sierra Ambulance. "The machine delivered two shocks prior to our paramedics' arrival and those two shocks were the lifesaving shocks for that young man."

Guzman said it took 14 minutes for paramedics to reach the isolated school. Fast action by school personnel pumping his chest to keep the blood flowing to his brain and the availability of the AED saved Bryce.

"Once the heart stops beating you have 4 to 6 minutes before brain death begins to occur," Guzman said.

Bryce was taken to Valley Children's Hospital and was transferred to Stanford University Medical Center.

Action News spoke with his mother, Patty, over the phone. She said it appears her son suffered from an undiagnosed heart condition he'd never shown symptoms.

"Absolutely out of the blue, he's just a very, very healthy young man. Never had any illnesses or issues, just went to school one day and his heart stopped," she said. "So yes its a very frightening thing."

Bryce remains in intensive care and is listed in stable condition.

"Just one of those things where everybody was doing the right thing," Ching said.

"I just felt he needed help and I just jumped to it," Angle said.

Doctors say the machine was the key to bringing Bryce back to life. Survival from a sudden cardiac arrest is less than 10 percent. If CPR is performed the survival rate doubles quickly, and if an AED is readily available, the survival rate increases.