Faith Sendelweck

Faith SendelweckSave Date: January 2010

Faith Sendelweck would just like to get back to a normal routine.

She goes back to Jasper Middle School on Monday; however, this once high-energy soccer player is forced to take it a little easier from now on.

Sendelweck says she does not remember much of what happened one Sunday earlier this month.

"All I remember is diving for a ball and throwing it back," Sendelweck said. "That's pretty much it."

She was playing soccer in the gym of Jasper High School.

Sendelweck's dad was with her and he remembers seeing her collapse into a curtain hanging from the gym ceiling.

Dr. Dean Beckman just happened to be playing basketball with his son there, too, and immediately ran to help.

"(She was) becoming a little bit lethargic, sat down, became unconscious and then lost her pulse," Dr. Beckman said. "We started CPR."

Turns out, Sendelweck had a congenital heart condition that no one knew about.

"The rhythm is messed up," Sendelweck said. "You have a short bump and then a big bump and then another short bump. My short bump drags on too long before my next heart beat and messes it up."

Sendelweck might not be here had it not been for a defibrillator in the gym.

"You could tell she was starting to respond because her color came back, her lips turned pink and she was moaning," Dr. Beckman said.

Sendelweck now has her own defibrillator, an IED,  implanted in her chest.  
And when she returns to school on Monday, teachers and staff will know what to do if her heart misses a beat.

"Assess the situation," Jasper school nurse Stephanie Armstrong said. "For irregular heartbeat or lack of heartbeat, pull the AED but her's should kick in now that's it's implanted in her."

Her classmates are showing their support, and can't wait to give her this banner when she returns.

Sendelweck is going to be a spokesperson for pediatric IED's at Kosair's Children's Hospital.

She is already helping spread the importance of AED's in schools, and has even started a Facebook page.

Long term, Faith won't be able to play soccer because her heart rate can't go above 207.

Story courtesy of Nicole DiDonato, Posted 1/29/2010

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