Sparrow Clinton nurses’ high school CPR program helps save Fowler child’s life

An innovative Sparrow effort to bring CPR training to freshmen at Fowler High School has paid life-saving dividends for a local family.

Sparrow Clinton Hospital nurses and Fowler graduates Angela Hufnagel and Samantha Weber started the program five years ago. Through classroom instruction, a video presentation and practical training involving two surprise drills, the nurses teach Fowler freshmen CPR techniques as part of the high school’s health class.

The CPR program, part of Sparrow’s effort to promote the health of the people in the mid-Michigan region, proved critical earlier this year for the Armbrustmacher family of Fowler in saving the life of their 3-year-old boy, Dakota.

Dakota’s mother, Julie, said her young son stopped breathing because of complications resulting from flu symptoms. Her husband, Dan, found the boy unresponsive but the Armbrustmachers’ older son, Dane, swung into action using CPR skills learned through the high school program. Dane was able to revive his brother and save his life.

School leaders praised Dane for his quick action and lauded Hufnagel and Weber for taking the time to develop and teach the CPR program to Fowler students.

“That’s why I do it,” Hufnagel said of Dane’s heroic effort. “It’s one of the most rewarding things of my nursing career, so far.”

Hufnagel, 34, has been with Sparrow Clinton Hospital for 16 years, the past 10 as a nurse. Weber, 30, has been a nurse at the hospital for four years and previously worked as a patient care technician. Their program, which follows American Heart Association guidelines, has been expanded to include fifth- and seventh-graders.

Sparrow Clinton Hospital is a subsidiary of Sparrow Health System, mid-Michigan’s premier health care organization.

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