Proper CPR, AED Training Saves Man’s Life During SHS Softball Game

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Nothing seemed out of the ordinary during a Schaumburg High School freshman girls’ softball game on April 16, until the game came to a shocking halt and a man’s life was saved.

Athletic trainer Kelly Wika and parent Joe Boshold acted without hesitation when volunteer assistant coach Rich Keller collapsed and was unresponsive due to an apparent heart attack.

Keller, who is the father of softball coach and SHS Social Studies teacher Brittany Moll, was coaching third base. Immediately after Keller went down, Wika sprang into action. Following her lead was Boshold who was watching the game in the stands. Boshold, who is also an IHSA official in volleyball, administered CPR while Wika went to get the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) device. Another parent in the stands called 911.

As Boshold continued with chest compressions, an unresponsive Keller started to turn blue from lack of oxygen and his pulse could not be detected. Wika connected the AED device to him and administered the first shock, which resulted in no response from Keller. After a second charge, he was revived and rushed to St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates where he received treatment.

It was believed that Keller suffered from a heart attack. However, doctors said that wasn’t the case and his heart had stopped beating.

Boshold said he doesn’t consider himself a hero, and told SHS Principal Tim Little that he was just doing the right thing.

“When I indicated to him that he was a ‘hero’ to our school and community, he shared with me that he is just a guy and would have done what he did for anyone,” Little said.

Word of Keller’s incident spread quickly, and the community came together to support his recovery not only with cards and a stuffed bear with SHS gear on, but also a banner created by the freshman girls’ softball team.

Keller is undergoing a series of tests and is expected to be released from the hospital soon.

”The careful execution of a well-thought out AED plan, as well as the training of staff combined with the quick actions of Mr. Boshold and Kelly Wika saved Mr. Keller’s life,” Little wrote to District 211 administration. “Everyone involved last night got this one right.”