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Quick response saves life of five-year-old

School staff acted to save Ryan Hedger after cardiac arrest on Dec. 5. (KOKH/Will Maetzold)

Five-year-old Ryan Hedger's mother, Leah, wasn't sure what she would see when she got to John Ross Elementary School in Edmond on Dec. 5.

She got a call for the school that Ryan suffered a medical emergency while on the playground and rushed back from a dentist appointment with her other son.

"I told Sam right before we got out of the car, 'Get ready,'" Leah Hedger said. "'This is going to be really hard to see how your mom is getting ready to behave.'"

Ryan had collapsed as he walked underneath a playground structure. His five-year-old friend Landon let staff know Ryan needed help.

"The little friend that spoke out and said there is something wrong and then our music teacher," Leah Hedger said. "She played a big part in calling 911."

Ryan had suffered cardiac arrest and had stopped breathing.

Staff went to get the AED in the school and eventually a doctor picking up his child was able to help.

"Definitely angels on Earth," Leah Hedger said.

Ryan's brother Sam said he knew it was serious when he arrived too.

"It was tough but there were a lot of people that were there for support," Sam Hedger said.

He was transported to OU Children's Hospital, where doctors diagnosed Ryan with an irregular heat rhythm. He's already had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) put in his chest.

"There's several types of irregular heart rhythm tiles," Leah Hedger said. "They're still trying to figure that out but all of them are treated with the ICD."

His family said this makes a big difference.

"It's like before everything happened he's exactly the same," Sam Hedger said. "He's playing and he's arguing."

Ryan returned home last Sunday. His family said he plans to go back to school after winter break.


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