When Michael Namey, 18 years old and a freshman from the University of Central Florida, had an attack while attending to a pre-calculus class on Monday, his classmate and his first trained responder Manny Orozco Ballestas ran alongside the teenager.
Ballestas, along with another student, performed CPR on Namey until emergency personnel arrived. "I did everything they trained me to do," says Ballestas.
It is believed that Namey suffered a cardiac arrest. He died in the hospital on Tuesday.
In an emotional open letter to Namey's family, which has gone viral on Facebook, Ballestas described his efforts to save his schoolmate.
"His son fought for his life without feeling any pain, I did everything I knew how to do, but it was not enough," Ballestas wrote, addressing Namey's parents. "I can not understand the pain you feel and my words will never relieve you, but please remember that I'm sorry."
"The image of his face when I gave him the last breaths and I pumped my chest will never leave me," he said.
In his letter, Ballestas spoke about the importance of CPR and the need for more AED (automatic external defibrillator) machines in schools. He then urged "all those out there" to learn the basics of CPR and AED.
"Every second counts, trust me. It could mean the difference between life and death … I just wish I had reached it a couple of minutes ago, "he wrote.
(Expands the Facebook post below to read the Ballestas's full message.)
Namey was an engineering student at UCF According to the Florida Central Future, the teenager had attended a conference on Monday when he stood up, he leaned back on his chair and had an attack
In addition to the CPR efforts, it was reported that an AED was deployed on Namey twice before the rescue teams arrived at According to the university, Namey was transferred to the emergency room in Oviedo and then transferred to the Regional Hospital of Central Florida.
Joseph Namey, the teenager's brother, thanked the first responders who came to help their brother
"We sincerely appreciate the number of people who responded first and were willing to help after it collapsed, and the great support of the UCF community ", said the Sentinel.
Following the death of Namey this week, there has been a call for an increase of AED machines on the campus of UCF.
"There are more than 61,000 students here at UCF and we all deserve to feel safe," says Change.org petition urging the school to acquire more life-saving machines.
So far, more than 700 people have signed the petition.
According to the American Heart Association, immediate CPR and the deployment of an AED can more than double chances of survival of a heart attack victim.
"In fact, early defibrillation, along with CPR, is the only way to restore the heart rate of the victim in many cases of cardiac arrest," says the organization. "However, for every minute that goes by without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease by 7 to 10 percent."
According to WKMG-TV, UCF has not yet commented whether or not it will obtain more AED. However, he has organized three free CPR classes on campus, which will take place in the coming weeks.
CORRECTION : an earlier version of this article abused the term "heart attack" for "cardiac arrest".