Hometown Heroes: Track team turns into life-saving team

Hometown Heroes

CRYSTAL FALLS, Mich. (WJMN) – Greydon Fischer, a sophomore at Forest Park Schools doesn’t really recall what happened on Monday, April 12th.

“The only thing I remember is waking up in the morning and then getting ready for school,” said Greydon.

It was early in the track and field season and what happened during practice is something many others won’t forget.

“We were running ladders and we just got to our 200 and then once we were walking back about to do our next 200, he was walking in the middle of the field and then we were walking along the track and then he fell on the ground and we went over,” said Hunter Reed, Greydon’s teammate.

“As I was crossing the field, I heard one of my teammates yelling for help,” added another teammate, Vincent Curtis.

“Coach Ziegler and I were at the opposite end of the track over there when we heard one of the student athletes call for us and we saw Greydon and he was holding him on the ground we immediately sprinted over there,” said Kurt Anderson, Greydon’s coach. “When we got there he was kind of on his side and to me appearing to have seizures, or a seizure. His body was very tense and I could tell that he was breathing at that point, not steady but breathing.”

Rapidly those breaths stopped and with a combination of quick thinking and adrenaline the track team turned into a life-saving team.

“Kind of followed the direction of the coach,” said DJ Rasner, assistant coach and Greydon’s pastor. “Went and got my phone and called 911.”

“I sent Tim to get the AED as fast we could,” said Vincent.

“I started [chest] compression at that point,” said Coach Anderson. “And so we were going for awhile after we couldn’t find a pulse. It was remarkably fast how fast the sheriff’s deputy got here.”

Deputy Sheriff Mike Mansell with the Iron County Sheriff’s Office took over and performed two rounds of CPR .

“Took a big gasp and when the ambulance got here, he started to not breathe normal but you could definitely tell his heartbeat was back,” said Mansell.

“I remember when they were getting ready to put him on the stretcher and I just grabbed his hand,” said Chandra Ziegler, Greydon’s coach. “I held onto his hand and I had my hand on his forehead and I don’t know if he could hear me or not but I just said, ‘Greydon, your dad’s coming. You’re going to be okay. He’s coming. Everything’s going to be okay.’ I needed to just get those words in there somewhere where he could carry with him.”

Greydon was taken to Aspirus Iron River, then to St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay and then to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee.

“They had told us that he was very lucky,” said Shawn Fischer, Greydon’s father. “That it was a 10% survival rate for when that happens outside of the hospital setting.”

If it wasn’t for the courageous group effort, it’s possible that the outcome for Greydon could have been very different.

“They’re heroes in my mind,” said Coach Ziegler.

“Great feeling,” said Mansell. “It’s why I do this job. It’s not to put people in jail or anything like that. It’s to help the community.”

“Big teams working with you and they all say how lucky he is and it’s truly amazing because being in a small town, you don’t necessarily think that you get that,” said Greydon’s mother, Sara Fischer. “But we got it somehow and we can’t thank people enough. There’s just no words.”

Doctors are still trying to figure out the exact cause of what led to the incident, but they believe it is a cardiac issue.

“We did a stress test in Milwaukee and once my heart rate got up to about 180 beats per minute, it started to get a little weird,” said Greydon. “Like the weird beats started to happen again that might have caused it.”

Greydon hopes he can have the clearance to join track again in the future.

“I want to at least get one year in for the experience,” said Greydon.

And while Greydon may not remember what happened, he’s thankful for the people who gave him a fighting chance. The people who will always remember what happened on April 12 in the back of their minds.

“I think about it a lot,” said Coach Anderson. “In the first couple of days after, definitely reflected on it quite a bit and something that I’m sure I’ll never forget. But like I say, he’s standing right over there today and that’s the best part of this whole thing.”

“My other role when I’m not working with the track team is I’m a pastor so I’m a storyteller and stories stay with me,” said Rasner. “And I’ll think about them and refer to them years, years down the road. This is one that I’ll be remembering this story and remembering this young man. He’s got a great smile and I’m glad to see it today.”

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