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Boy, 14, saved at Waterville Valley after heart stops

Union Leader Correspondent

July 25. 2013 5:51PM

WATERVILLE VALLEY – A 14-year-old boy's heart stopped after he fell ill at the base of Snow Mountain while doing skiing exercises, according to fire officials.

But he was saved by his coaches, who managed to get an automated external defibrillator on his chest within 90 seconds, according to Fire Department Capt. Jeff Dropkin.

The boy, whose name was not released, was revived by CPR that his coaches and emergency responders performed on him immediately after he lost consciousness at about 2:30 p.m., Dropkin said.

He was taken by DHART helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon because "he's a cardiac arrest patient, so he has to go there for further treatment," Dropkin said.

Dropkin added that once revived, the boy began talking normally and his body functions mostly returned to normal.

"He came back to life quickly," Dropkin said. "He seems fine now. Getting the machine on him within a minute and a half was key."

His mother flew with him in the helicopter to the hospital, Dropkin said.

The boy's ski coaches had recently taken CPR with Dropkin as their teacher.

"It was coaches with me, their CPR coach, standing above them," he said.

Dropkin was not sure of the long-term prognosis of the boy. He wasn't aware of any medical condition. If he has a less-than-serious health condition, he may be fine, he said.

"I've seen it happen," Dropkin said. "Especially with someone young, if everything goes as it's supposed to and he's saved that quickly, he may okay."

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