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.
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“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.