Quick-Thinking Coaches Save Girl’s Life At Comsewogue High School

PORT JEFFERSON STATION, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) –– Everyone is beaming with pride at one Long Island high school were two coaches are being hailed as heroes.

In the middle of an intramural basketball game at Comsewogue High School, 17-year-old Hope Reindl collapsed and stopped breathing.

That’s when two coaches quickly responded, said principal Joseph Coniglione.

“Within seconds, they started CPR. Within under a minute, they had a defibrillator hooked up to her. There was no pulse,” said principal Joseph Coniglione. “They’re really impressive young gentlemen and they treated it as if it was one of their own kids. You know, there was no hesitation.”

But coaches Justin Seifert and Rick Miekley got Hope breathing again.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs With The Proud Prinicpalhttp://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/xirinachs_basketball1w_morn_110506.mp3Quick-Thinking%20Coaches%20Save%20Girl's%20Life%20At%20Comsewogue%20High%20School%20Basketball%20Game

“It was the most intense moment I think I’ve ever seen in my life,” Siefert told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

“She was unconscious and I just checked her airway and her breathing and I asked him to call 9-1-1,” Miekley said.

As CPR continued and 9-1-1 calls rang out, students were directed to grab the portable external defibrillator just steps from the court. Within seconds, both coaches were reviving Hope. It was touch and go

“The students were incredible, calmly walked to the side, and then the EMTs after that walked through the door and that was probably best sight we’ve ever seen,” Siefert said.

Coniglione was proud to call the two coaches colleagues.

“You feel great. You’re extremely proud. We’re surrounded by heroes,” he says, adding that he feels like a proud father. “It’s really like a family and we really look at these kids as if they’re our own. That’s what makes it a special place and the reality is and what really matters is that, you know, this girl is still here.”

The coaches said they were just doing their jobs, but the medical professionals at Stony Brook University Medical Center, where Hope was taken and treated, said they did a lot more than that.

“Absolutely, without the coaches I think she wouldn’t be here,” said Stony Brook Dr. Saverio Barbera.

Reindl, conscious and speaking, was rushed to Stony Brook, where she underwent a procedure to implant an internal defibrillator. It’s like a pacemaker that can provide an electric shock.

“Accesses a big vein next to the shoulder and introduces a wire into the right side of Hope’s heart,” said Dr. Laurie Panesar.

Doctors said hope had suffered a serious arrhythmia, though she’d never had any symptoms of a problem.

Reindl is expected to fully recover and plans to soon rejoin her high school softball team.

Her mom calls it the greatest Mother’s Day present ever — and her dad agrees.

All hail these two coaches! Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Mike Xirinachs
  • jake

    They did a great job they pulled it off like if they were perfessionals

  • Medic Clare

    Save #56 due to the Acomporas efforts. Louis Acompora, Northport, died because there were no public defibrillators. His heart rhythm was caused by a lacrosse ball interrupting his heart, Commotio Cordis. His strong, relentless parents were able to make AEDs in schools mandatory in 2002. God bless them on another Mother’s day, without Louis. Now, due to their efforts, 56 can celebrate with their moms!

  • hopes class mate.

    this is a local news station… why would the report on stuff about africa. just saying.

  • Billy

    WTG Guys God Bless you Hope get better ASAP…………..

  • Jimmy

    Sooo…we’re all grateful shes still here with us and youre ging to comment on a life of someone you dont even know from a different freakin continent!! If youre so concerned about those millions of people why dont you do something about it instead of sitting at youre computer moping, complaining, and bringing down a story about something most poeple are thrilled about. These two people saved my friends life and youre gonna sit there and complain. Why dont you make YOURSELF useful and do something you inconsiderate prick!

  • Hop's friend

    Hope i can not believe this happened to you! No one deserves this especially not you!! i was just with you last weekend and you were so happy!! this isn’t fair i know but you will get though it with your family and friends by you side!! I love you<33

  • Valentine Adonias


  • parent of another Sudden Cardiac Arrest child survivor

    Thank God for her coaches and the availability of the school’s AED. My daughter was also saved by her school staff last year when she collapsed with Sudden Cardiac Arrest in gym class. She is also fully recovered, however I learned since then that both CPR AND a defibrillator are required to save SCA victims… for every minute that goes by without defibrillation, the survival rate decreases by 10%. Since most EMTs do not arrive within 10 minutes, it is critical that AEDs and informed people to administer both CPR and defibrillation are available within the first couple of minutes. Please promote AEDs as well as first aid and CPR programs in our school and other public places… unfortunately SCA among youth is more common than we think, but success stories like Hope’s show us that we can improve survival rates and success stories if we are prepared. Thank God for a happy ending….

  • Wildman

    Pretty awsome. ‘Bravo Zulu’ to the coaches.

  • vikki

    Wonderful! This is why EVERY person should take a course in CPR and really become proficient at life-saving techniques, including the all-important Heimlich maneuver. Also, upgrade your first-aid kit at home and make sure you have one in your car and your boat. The coaches are a blessing from God. How happy the parents must be. Best wishes to Hope. Finally, thanks for the media for giving us this heart-warming true story, which serves as a reminder to all of us how important first-aid training is. Please sign up for a course in your area TODAY!

  • jawani


  • rich

    great moment for Hope, she had d two proactive coaches

  • Comsewogue Student

    Our coaches aren’t just coaches to us and we are glad to hear from them that we aren’t just random kids. We love all of our coaches and we love Hope. She’s getting better slowly but surely. Can’t wait to see her back on the field playing for us. Today we had a game that was dedicated to her and the foundation we are raising money for. We won the game and we will always remember it. We love her with all our hearts. Seifert and Miekly are amazing and we all love them too.

  • M. B. Brown

    A great ending to a scary event for all concerned First aid should
    be mandatory training for all HS kids as well as teachers.

  • Great News

    Bi-Winning lol.

  • tyj

    I know that doc! her name is misspelled. its Panesar

  • Carol

    Awesome! Wonderful news!

  • Jon Sofen



    god bless

  • citizen


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