Heroes performed the work, but electronic shock saved a Spanish Fork boy's life

Published: Friday, Oct. 14 2011 10:01 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — "Heroes" saved Logan Powell's life Thursday, but an automatic external defibrillator did the magic.

The electronic shock revived the 6-year-old's heart in a way that CPR could not, and his parents and doctors are now praising the device, saying it should be everywhere.

"They should be in every school. They're in every government building. There are several in our hospital. They're in airports. They should be where our children are," said Dr. Susan Etheridge, a pediatric cardiologist at Primary Children's Medical Center, where Logan Powell is recovering.

Logan Powell collapsed and nearly died Thursday during a gym class outside at Spanish Fork Elementary School. Another student noticed him and informed the playground supervisor, who immediately started CPR. An ambulance was called and police arrived on scene, however it wasn't until the fourth police car arrived that an AED could be used to save the boy's life — as it was the only police vehicle equipped with the device.

"There are a lot of heroes out there who are trained to do wonderful things and when it came time to do it, they were able to," said Logan Powell's mother, Laura Powell. She's more than grateful for the quick response of school personnel and local law enforcement and said if it had taken any longer, her son would not be alive today.

Just last month, the Nebo School Board voted to place an AED in all of the schools in the district. However, the devices have yet to be purchased.

The Canyons School District reports having a few at various schools, while all secondary schools and half of the elementary schools in the Alpine School District have them. Granite School District also reports having AEDs in only a few schools, most of which were donated, but officials said trained staff are always available for any life-threatening situation.

Ben Horsley, Granite spokesman, said it is not only expensive to train staff on how to use the AED device, but also costly to keep them in working order, as the battery must be replaced often.

And while none of the schools in the Salt Lake City School District have them, officials believe they would be beneficial.

Three years ago, an AED at Millard's Delta High School was used to revive an elderly man who lived across the street and just last year, an AED at American Fork Junior High was used to save the life of a student there.

"The machine, the defibrillator saved his life. That was the difference," said Laura Powell. "The CPR was not bringing him back, so it's truly a miracle."

Logan Powell is now recovering, but doctors don't really know how much damage was done.

"He is off of any type of life support," said Todd Powell, the boy's dad. "He is breathing on his own, they took his breathing tubes out today. Neurologically, Logan is still recuperating, we're being told that it is something we are going to see and improve on over the next three to five days as things happen."

He is convinced that had an AED not been available, or more time had passed before his son's heart could be revived, "I think there would have been an entirely different outcome."

E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com

Twitter: wendyleonards

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