CANTON, Ohio – Like many teachers, Kara Rankin of Canton wears many hats.
“I mean there’s times I have to play hair dresser and fix hair and fashion designer – fix some clothing disasters, you know; sometimes we have to act like policemen and nurses and just basically like a mom,” said Rankin.
Rankin was walking into her classroom to start the day when she said she heard a scream from the substitute teacher in the classroom next door.
“I didn’t know what it was so I thought I had better go over and check and when I walked into the room Jacob (Vogt) was on the floor having a seizure,” said Rankin.
Rankin says she rolled the eight-year-old boy on his side and comforted him and believed he was improving.
“He seemed like he was coming out of the seizure and I was pretty happy to see that but then all of a sudden he kind of went limp and when I looked at him he was turning blue so I could not find any type of pulse,” said Rankin.
The second grade teacher says her previous CPR training kicked in.
“I was trying to see if he could hear me and was asking if he was alright, shaking him just a little bit and he just kept turning blue even more so I wasn’t sure I just have to do some chest compressions and decided to do that.”
“I just put my hands down and gave probably about thirteen compressions and then I heard this breath of air come out of him and just his color just changed so quickly and it was just like a relief and I could see that he was breathing very faintly,” she added.
Paramedics arrived soon afterwards and medical tests have since determined that Jacob’s seizures are caused by strobe lights.
He had been playing with a toy light sabre at school when the seizures began.
Rankin’s actions are credited with saving Jacob’s life.
“She was right on cue. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to be by his side,” said McGregor Principal Annie Arvidson.
“She was my hero before she saved Jacob. I just have always adored her. She’s my go-to person when I’m in trouble in the building, like when I need to make a big decision; she’s amazing. She’s always calm, always thinks of the kids first and I really want to be a lot like her,” added Arvidson.
Jacob says he doesn’t remember much about the seizure he had at school, but he is aware that Rankin is credited with saving his life.
He says he wants to be a police officer when he grows up so he can help save other people’s lives and keep them safe.
“I’m glad that I was here but I just felt that most of my friends and my colleagues here at McGregor they think that’s what they would have done if they were in that spot,” said Rankin.
“I want people to know that teachers are here to keep their kids safe and I’m just glad I was here that day.”