AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin middle-school athlete got the chance to say “thank you” to the first responders who saved her life after she collapsed during a soccer game in January.
Sabine Barrett, 11, was playing soccer on Jan. 19 when she suddenly collapsed on the field. Medics said she suffered a cardiac arrest due to a rare congenital heart disease called coronary artery anomaly, a congenital heart defect, which is the second leading cause of death in young athletes.
Lone Star Soccer Club coach Nick Snyder administered CPR while Sabine’s father called 911. Within minutes of Sabine’s collapse, Austin-Travis County EMS and the Austin Fire and Police Departments were there and took over resuscitative efforts.
After 18 minutes, Sabine’s heartbeat returned and Travis County STAR Flight was dispatched. Sabine was intubated and stabilized, then airlifted to Dell Children’s Medical Center for treatment.
She underwent open heart surgery at Dell Children’s on Jan. 20. Dr. Carlos M. Mery, a pediatric congenital heart surgeon at Dell Children’s and the associate chief of Pediatric and Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery for the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, and his cardiac care team performed the surgery.
Sabine is now out of the hospital and on her way to making a full recovery.
On Wednesday morning, she got to meet with the entire team of first responders, doctors, nurses and hospital staff, who saved her life.
Coach Snyder, ATCEMS Assistant Chief Michael Wright, Dr. Mery, Sabine’s father Dan Barrett, and ATCEMS Chief Robert Luckritz told Sabine’s story to give a full picture of all the efforts that went into saving her life and how crucial early CPR is to the survival of these patients.
A national alarm was sounded about the importance of early CPR and automated external defibrillators last month after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during an early-January football game.
Hamlin had an experience similar to Sabine’s just weeks before it happened to her. According to the Bills, Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in their game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field, then he was transferred to a hospital for treatment.
Hamlin said Monday he’s “doing great.”