Tyler Byall

Tyler Byall (thumb)

Save Date: September 20, 2010

In the summer of 2009, Kristi Polcsak was driving home from Pretty Lake when she was overtaken by a terrifying feeling. Something bad was going to happen to her 16-year-old son, Tyler Byall, when he was 17.

“It was an overwhelming feeling that he was going to die at 17,” Polcsak said.

She told her husband, who told her to just try to put it out of her mind, but, Polcsak said, “I just couldn’t shake it.”

So it was a terrifying time when her son turned 17.

She never told Tyler about her feeling.

“You don’t want to say, ‘I have this feeling you are going to die,’ so I always told him to be really careful.”

Then, about 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 20, the whole family was asleep, and Polcsak woke up, sat up in bed and said to herself, “This is it.”

She woke her husband and said, “Go to Tyler. There’s something wrong.”

Her husband responded with a “Huh?”

So she told him again, go to Tyler. Then they heard a moan come from Tyler’s room.

Polcsak and her husband rushed to Tyler’s room, where her husband said Tyler just seemed to be asleep. But when they rolled him over they discovered he had no heartbeat and wasn’t breathing. Polcsak immediately called 911, and the couple began CPR.

When the ambulance arrived, paramedics shocked Tyler five times and gave him drugs but couldn’t get a heartbeat. It wasn’t until he got to the hospital that doctors managed to get his heart beating, but by then the situation looked grim.

Polcsak said doctors told her they didn’t expect Tyler to survive.

Incredibly, they were wrong.

“He’s doing amazingly well,” Polcsak said. “He’s himself. He’s wanting to go back to school on Thursday (today),” although his mother says absolutely not. Perhaps she’ll let him go to a pep rally before North Side High School’s homecoming game on Friday, and perhaps part of the homecoming game.

Tyler, who was elected junior class vice president at North Side about two weeks ago, was also named to the homecoming court.

Maybe she’ll let him go back to school Monday, she said.

Today, doctors don’t have the faintest idea why Tyler’s heart stopped, Polcsak said. He runs cross country, plays football, wrestles and runs track, but he doesn’t suffer from something called long QT syndrome, which has been blamed in the deaths of other athletes. More tests will take place, but why this happened is still a mystery.

Doctors also have no idea whether this was a one-time episode, but they have implanted a defibrillator in Tyler’s chest as a precaution, something Tyler doesn’t like because it means he can’t participate in contact sports.

Polcsak was a little reluctant to talk about that feeling that overcame her. She said she doesn’t want people to think she’s some kind of nut. But looking back, she said, “Now I’m glad. If I hadn’t had that feeling, I wouldn’t have acted so quickly.”

Tyler’s grandmother, Laura Fries, has a different explanation.

“It’s a miracle,” she said.

You gotta wonder.

Story courtesy of Frank Gray, journalgazette.net. Posted 9/30/2010

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