JCPS teacher helps saves life of student who clinically died on basketball court

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- A JCPS teacher is being hailed as a hero after helping save the life of a middle school student.

Sixth-grade teacher Hollie Gilbert was in her classroom Jan. 28 when she received a call that a student in the gym had collapsed during a game of kickball.

“His heart just stopped,” Gilbert said. “I checked for a pulse. There was no pulse, and I resumed CPR while they were continuing to speak with EMS over the phone.”

Jamauren Woodard, 14, had clinically died on the middle of the Thomas Jefferson Middle School School Gym.

Gilbert, who is also a certified EMT, continued to work on Woodard as EMS arrived. He was shocked with a heart defibrillator and regained a pulse.

Woodard has no memory of that day two months ago.

“They said I collapsed, and I woke up in the hospital,” Woodard said from his home Wednesday.

He spent 11 days in the hospital after having bypass surgery on his left artery.

“I’ve been feeling great," he said. "All I got to do is just take my meds and just stay healthy, which I am. I’ve just been feeling good like my normal self.”

While in the hospital, several of Woodard’s classmates created T-shirts that read, “Fight like Jay” to show their support.

Doctors have now given the eighth-grader the all-clear to continue his passion of playing sports, something he can’t wait to start doing again.

Woodard and Gilbert now say they have a bond brought together by quick-thinking and the school being prepared for a situation like this.

“I know that people care about me," Woodard said. "I know people are happy now, and it’s just wonderful."

Woodard will be on medication for the rest of his life, and he’s already back at school getting ready to starting playing basketball again.

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