Teachers, Students Help Save Track Coach's Life

By: Brittany Gunter
By: Brittany Gunter

An Omaha track coach is lucky to be alive after he went into cardiac arrest during practice. He says students and teachers nearby helped to save his life.

27-year-old Chad Wilshusen is a track coach and teacher at Concordia High School. When he's not coaching from the sidelines, he's often running alongside his athletes at practice. A few weeks ago while he was doing that with student Tanner Schwarting something unusual happened.

"As I understand it. The bottom valves of my heart were not pumping correctly," said Wilshusen. He collapsed and Schwarting told other students to go get help.

Teachers Marty Senechal and Phil Meggers were the first adults to get there. "I expected him to be passed out from trying to do too much with the kids and when I got there he was not responsive and his eyes were half open," said Senechal.

Someone called 911 and the dispatcher told them to start CPR right away. "It was just a phenomenal miraculous blessing really that we had all had that training shortly before this happened," said Meggers.

Students also did what they could. "Kids on the track team and other kids formed a prayer circle while we worked on Chad."

Paramedics arrived and Wilshusen was rushed to the hospital. He was in intensive care for days. After surgery and some recovery he's back to coaching and thankful to everyone who helped save his life.

"You know what a blessing it was to have them close at hand. I can't express the gratitude. I mean there's no way I could repay them for what they did."

Wilshusen said he doesn't remember anything from that day and he's never had anything like this happen to him before. He has some restrictions right now, but is hoping to get back to normal soon.

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