Benton coaches, trainer recognized for saving student’s life

Benton High School baseball coaches Garrett Parker, far left, and Rusty Davis, second from right, and Benton High School Athletic Trainer T. J. White, far right, display 2018 Good Samaritan Heroes awards while posing with Benton High School student Grant Steed. Parker, Davis and White were recognized by the American Red Cross on Thursday for their efforts to save Steed’s life after he collapsed during baseball practice in March 2017.  SARAH PERRY/The Saline Courier
Sarah Perry
Staff Writer

Benton High School student Grant Steed is alive today because of the lifesaving efforts of three Benton School District employees.
For stepping up to save Steed’s life, baseball coaches Rusty Davis and Garrett Parker, along with Benton High School Athletic Trainer T.J. White, were recognized Thursday during the American Red Cross 2018 Celebration of Heroes Luncheon in North Little Rock.

The men were named 2018 Good Samaritan Heroes.

During a short video presentation, the coaches explained what started out as a normal baseball practice. While the students were doing their usual routine, Steed collapsed. When Parker went to him, Steed was not moving and was losing color and unresponsive.

White and Parker performed CPR and used an automated external defibrillator for approximately 14 minutes while Davis cared for the other players on the field. Davis also ensured the medical personnel was able to locate Steed on the field.

“This happened a year ago today,” said Eric Sweatt, chairman of the American Red Cross Greater Arkansas Chapter Board of Directors. “As coaches and athletic trainers you are required to have CPR and first aid training, but it’s not very often that you have to apply this training. Because of the coordination between the three of you, your quick action and your certified training, Grant Steed walked out of the hospital 51 days later and thanks to you, he is alive today.”
White said he has been certified in CPR for years and the coaches have a specific plan for how to respond to medical incidents such as this one. Each year, the coaches go through their plan, so when the incident happened, Davis, White, and Parker worked like “a well-oiled machine,” White told The Saline Courier.

Grant’s parents, Kevin Steed and Renee Steed, attended the luncheon as well. They said the coaches could never be recognized enough.
Even though both of Grant’s parents are certified in CPR, Grant’s father said if the incident had happen somewhere else, the results could have been dramatically different.

Along with the three people who were recognized during the luncheon, Grant’s family would like to recognize the first responders who arrived at the scene, the staff at the emergency room at Saline Memorial Hospital, Dr. Michael Pafford, who attended the practice and rode with Grant in the ambulance, Dr. Jim Ed Brewer, and the entire Benton School District.
Before collapsing on the field, Grant had no signs of heart problems, but he was eventually diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia.

“ARVD is a rare form of cardiomyopathy in which the heart muscle of the right ventricle (RV) is replaced by fat and/or fibrous tissue. The right ventricle is dilated and contracts poorly. As a result, the ability of the heart to pump blood is usually weakened. Patients with ARVD often have arrhythmias, abnormal heart rhythms, which can increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest or death,” according to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
People who are usually diagnosed with ARVD are teenage athletic males.
There are no warning signs and the only way to be diagnosed is through a genetic test, Kevin Steed said.

Because of his diagnosis, Grant is no longer able to participate in competitive sports, Renee Steed added.
During Thursday’s ceremony, four first responders received First Responder Hero awards and a girl won another Good Samaritan Hero award.

Two Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services EMTs, Cristy Daniels and Shae Ulrich, were recognized for performing CPR on an unresponsive man during a call.
Cpl. Todd Spradlin, with the Vilonia Police Department, was recognized for performing CPR on a 3-week-old infant. Because of Spradlin’s lifesaving effort, the child is now almost a year old.
Hot Springs Police Department Cpl. Brandon Cook was honored for jumping into frigid water to save a woman who had jumped off of a bridge.

Jayda Bell was recognized for helping a family member who had a seizure while driving. Jayda was only 8-years-old at the time of the incident.
Antwan Phillips received the 2018 Candy Carey Service Beyond Self Award. The award is presented to individuals who have shown an outstanding commitment to his or her community through volunteerism, leadership and active service that goes beyond self.

The 2018 Clara Barton Distinguished Humanitarian of the Year was presented to the employees at Stephens Inc.
Warren Stephens attended the event to accept the award.
After hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria made landfall, employee with Stephens Inc., in their 29 offices across the county, raised more than $41,000 to support the massive Red Cross relief efforts for the affected areas.

The guest speaker for the event was Dave Sanderson who was the last passenger off of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 or “The Miracle on the Hudson.”

Because of his positive experience with the American Red Cross following the accident, he has now become a spokesperson for the organization.
More information about his story will be included in Sunday’s edition of The Saline Courier.