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Estes Staff Members Save Coworker's Life
Estes Staff Members Save Coworker's Life
Posted on 06/10/2021
Pictured are (left to right, background) Liz Jones, Leigh Parker, Melissa Mobley, Brenda Case, Josh Kelso, Anthony Seagraves, (left to right, foreground) Renee Ledford shaking hands with Asheville Fire Department Chief Scott Burnette.Pictured are (left to right, background) Liz Jones, Leigh Parker, Melissa Mobley, Brenda Case, Josh Kelso, Anthony Seagraves, (left to right, foreground) Renee Ledford shaking hands with Asheville Fire Department Chief Scott Burnette.

By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

A BCS bus driver and custodian survived a heart attack, thanks to the preparation and quick actions of her coworkers.

William W. Estes Elementary School (WWEES) counselor Josh Kelso, receptionist Brenda Case, classroom assistant Renee Ledford, head custodian Anthony Seagraves, Exceptional Children assistant Leigh Parker, and school nurse Liz Jones all received Civilian Life Saving Awards from Asheville Fire Department (AFD) during a ceremony on June 2.

On the morning of April 27, WWEES custodian and bus driver Melissa Mobley collapsed in the teacher workroom. She said a blood clot caused a particularly bad blockage in her heart, known as a “widowmaker.”

“Not a whole lot of people survive that,” Ms. Mobley said. “But God put me where I was supposed to be with the people around me.”

Soon after her collapse, her coworkers sprang into action. They called 911, used the school’s automated external defibrillator (AED), and took turns performing chest compressions until EMS and firefighters arrived several minutes later. Fire officials say the staff’s quick interventions were critical.

“When emergency personnel arrived, the hard work had been done, the life had been saved, and we just took over the care and transported,” said AFD public information officer Kelley Klope.

“It was remarkable and amazing to see them react like that in a crisis,” added WWEES Assistant Principal Angie Trantham. “They were doing CPR immediately and also making sure no children saw what happened. Others went outside to guide EMS and firefighters to the scene. They were making phone calls and directing the reactions. It was a great response.”

Even though she’s still recovering, Ms. Mobley has been able to visit Estes several times since the incident. Parents and colleagues have reached out to make her feel loved.

“I feel blessed, because I was in the right place at the right time,” she said. “Estes is my family. I’ve had parents reaching out to me to say they love me and don’t want to lose me. It’s been a real emotional thing.”

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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