As part of Southside High School’s EMR class, students learn proper CPR techniques. Junior Isaiah Alexander learned those techniques under Coach Dwayne Searle, without realizing that he would be putting them to use one day in April 2018.
“It’s weird to say I helped save my dad’s life. You never think you would have to do that,” says Isaiah.
His father, David, was doing some yard work and blowing leaves when he collapsed. Isaiah quickly began performing CPR while Paramedics David Savoy and Christian Ray and EMT Paige Touchet, Lafayette Fire Department captains Coby Bailey and Joshua McGrew and firefighter Darrel St. Julien, and Lafayette police officer Sara Leger were en route to the scene. CPR was performed for nearly 45 minutes and David received multiple defibrillations before the medics regained a pulse.
David’s wife, Edwina, says, “The team dispatched never gave up and by God’s grace he has made an amazing recovery one year later! I and my family will never be able to repay or say thank you enough.”
Southside High put on its annual academic pep rally on Friday, May 3, and saved a very special award for the last one given. The principal, Catherine Cassidy, presented Isaiah and Coach Searle with the school’s first Lifesaver Awards for their instrumental roles in saving David’s life.
In a surprise effort, Christian Ray and Paige Touchet, along with Paramedic Thelma Stelly, Operations Coordinator Adam Olivier and Operations Supervisor Eddie Burleigh, were present to reunite with David and his family, including Isaiah’s mother, brother, sister and stepmother. David Savoy was on shift and unfortunately unable to attend.
Christian, Paige, David, Isaiah, Coby, Joshua, Darrel and Sara received Acadian’s Meritorious Service Awards for their efforts.
Isaiah said he thinks about a career in EMS “more and more every day” while also considering joining the National Guard, careers that would allow him to be part of something.