Angie Knannlein-Rahman describes a heart breaking scene years ago when she was on the volleyball team at Central Catholic High School. Her fellow player had collapsed on the court and at the time, there wasn't the technology or knowledge to save her. "She just dropped. There were four of us there, and the others went to get the team and the coach and I just held her in my arms. I didn't know what to do, she turned blue and we lost her," says Knanniein-Rahman.
Fate would give a different outcome years later. Just days ago, Knanniein-Rahman was coaching down at the state championship track and field event, when she came to the aid of Northwestern High School Jr. Adam Reidinger when he collapsed in a potentially fatal heart rhythm. "He just went down. I don't know that anyone saw him collapse. But they found him laying on the cement." says Knanniein-Rahman, "I could see his parents shadow over my shoulder and I just thought, I'm not going to let this kid die in front of his parents."
Knanniein-Rahman is now an intensive care nurse at Mercy St. Charles so she has great experience in saving lives. Even so, she admits it was very scary. Another nurse from Cincinnati Children's Hospital and a physician's assistant took turns with Knanniein-Rahman performing CPR on Reidinger while they waited for the AED which stands for Automated External Defibrillator. They applied the device and it was able to shock his heart into a normal rhythm. "That machine saved his life. Ventricular Fibrillation is not something he would have come out of on his own."
Adam had a defibrillator implanted into his chest. It will save him if something like that happens again in the future. Reidinger says doctors can't explain why it happened. There are no problems with his heart. But he won't be able to play football or other contact sports now. "She's an Angel," says Reidinger when talking about Knanniein-Rahman, "She saved my life, and I love her for that."