Oldham Co. High School student shares his near death experience


by Claudia Coffey


Posted on February 23, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 23 at 7:22 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Tues., Feb, 14, Valentine's Day - a day 16-year-old Cole Gibson said he remembers very little about. He said he remembers his first period class at  Oldham County High School and a student passing out roses.
"I remember getting that rose and getting up and walking out of class and that's all I can remember from that day,"  Gibson said.

That same day is a day his parents said they will never forget.

"It was scary it was a terrifying thing to hear unconscious and having to use an AED to resucitate and revive. Yeah It's pretty scary," Cole's father Dan Smith said.

By 11 a.m. Cole had collapsed while he was sitting in his journalism class and his heart stopped beating.

The district nurse just happened to be there that day and began CPR. Three other teachers would took turns working to save Cole's life. Fortunately the school had an AED, or automatic external defibrillator, and when it was administered a volt jump-started Cole's heart.

His heart would stop three more times before arriving at Kosair Children's Hospital. After a touch and go day, that night he finally responded to doctors.

"At the doctors command he held up two fingers on his own. Before that point, he wasnt with us," Smith said.

Cole said when he finally woke up he didn't remember anything.

"I have never woken up in a place where I had never been to and I didn't know why I was there," he said.

Doctors determined Cole had an irregular heartbeat and because of that condition, he needed a defibrillator implanted in his chest .

"I will never really know if it will happen again. That's why I have this thing in my chest," Gibson said.

Now nine days later, Cole is moving around the house and in good spirits. He said he feels so lucky, everything from the nurse to the teachers to the AED, he said, was there for a reason on that day.

"I am so thankful to be alive. You never think that these things happen to you or that they can happen to you. So I will live every single day to the fullest . My life is gonna change so much," Gibson said.
Cole has some limitations for now, he can't lift his arm for a while where the defibrillator was implanted, he may have to wait to get his license and he'll have to  limit all contact sports.
He said he wants to enter the field of journalism and educate others about the need for AEDs in all schools and public buildings.

"He says Im never gonna love Valentine's Day because of this event but  I think he ought to love Valentine's Day because his heart didn't get broken it got fixed," Smith said.