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Quick-thinking student relies on first aid training from school to help friend

Posted Date: 5/31/24 (7:15 PM)

Hala Ling, Jon Lara and Joe GivensSandy High School (SHS) 11th grade students Jon Lara and Waylon Lekberg like to push each other to the limits during workout sessions, so Lara wasn’t concerned when Lekberg first said he was seeing stars as the two sat in Lara’s car before school one morning in April. But, when Lekberg hunched over and leaned on Lara, Lara quickly realized this wasn’t a joke. It was a seizure.
“At that time my training kicked in and by the time I had evaluated the situation he started to foam at the mouth, that's when I knew I had to act fast,” Lara said.
Lara had taken a First Aid class taught by Joe Givens, part of SHS’s extensive Career Technical Education (CTE) offerings, during his 10th grade year and the lessons would serve him well on this day.
He quickly got Lekberg out of the car and down on the ground, using a shirt to make sure that Lekberg’s head stayed level. A friend that had parked next to them called 911, while Lara continued to help stabilize Lekberg as they waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
“I was able to act as fast as I could with everything I remembered, and thanks to the confidence Mr. Givens gave me I was able to do everything with a plan,” Lara said.
Lekberg was back at school within a week, even getting a ride from Lara, with Lekberg’s family grateful for all the help that Lara and the others provided to him.
“We are incredibly appreciative of the swift and effective actions of all the helpers involved the day of Waylon’s seizure,” Lekberg’s family said. “The efforts of Waylon’s friends exemplify how we all hope to behave in an emergency. The memory of that day holds feelings of trauma for us, as we are sure it does for everyone involved as well. However, it gifted the world an opportunity to see and appreciate the strengths in others. Jon, Aden, and Hunter, actions like the ones you all displayed that day make the world a better place and we are deeply grateful for you.”
On Monday, April 29, Lara and Givens received Kindness Citations and some swag from the Sandy Police Department.
“Jon’s recognition of the emergency and subsequent actions were masterfully executed,” Givens said. “I applaud his commitment to learning the skills and applying them without hesitation. I’m excited to lead a program that is making a tremendous impact on this community and am eager to get more students equipped with life-saving knowledge and skills like Jon.”
Lara is interested in pursuing a career in the medical field or in the military, as he likes helping people in need.
“I think First Aid and emergency response should be a mandatory class,” he said, adding that other skills he picked up include CPR and frostbite prevention. “The First Aid class also offers college credit and a further future in life. Without that class my friend since elementary school could have been lost and he could not be here right now.”