Students, faculty, staff help save teacher suffering heart attack

Press Staff Writer

        The lives of students, faculty, staff and a Terra State Community College CCP (College Credit Plus) teacher changed forever at Vanguard-Sentinel Career Technical School in November of 2021.
        Nov. 18, 2021 was just another day on the calendar for Shannon Lerro. She woke up, got ready for work and drove to Vanguard to teach one of her Terra State English CCP courses. She felt okay and was not experiencing any symptoms besides feeling a little bit more tired than usual, but she chalked that up to it being a busy semester.
        Without warning, Lerro collapsed onto the floor when taking attendance at the beginning of the class. Immediately, students, faculty and staff at Vanguard turned into lifesaving heroes. They performed CPR, called emergency personnel and worked to keep everyone calm – saving Lerro’s life.
        “I sat down at the computer to take attendance, and the next thing I remember is waking up in the St. Vincent’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit with a tube in my throat and a pacemaker in my chest,” Lerro said.
        When Lerro collapsed and went into cardiac arrest, she was in a room full of medical students who had been trained and certified in basic life support by the American Heart Association only a couple of days before. One of the medical assisting students ran to the office to get help while another one immediately jumped into action and started performing CPR after the student checked that Lerro was no longer breathing and had no pulse.
        After the other student ran to get help, school secretaries Jenn Sharp and Ann Warner, called 911 and contacted the school nurse, Sara Wilbur. Wilbur grabbed her medical gear and ran to the classroom where she and the student took turns performing CPR. Once Warner brought the Automated External Defibrillator (AED), Wilbur used it to deliver an electric shock to Lerro to help reestablish an effective heart rhythm. EMS arrived shortly after, and Lerro was stabilized and taken to the hospital.
        During the event, faculty and staff not only stepped up to take care of Lerro but also ensured the welfare of the students and the building. Jackie Smith, criminal justice program instructor, helped create a medical lockdown throughout the campus to ensure all students were in their rooms to prevent them from witnessing the event as well as to keep the hallways clear for EMS.
        Vanguard Principal Dave Banning came to the classroom to escort the students to safety and organized debriefing and counseling for any student affected by the event. Smith, mental health counselor Karin Mobley and guidance counselor Angela Welly took over counseling.
        “From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all of those at Vanguard-Sentinel Career Technical School for saving my life and giving me a second chance in life,” Lerro said. “Without them, my cardiologist said I would not have made it. I am one of the lucky ones who happened to have the right people around when I went into cardiac arrest and collapsed.
        “I also want to thank everyone at Terra State Community College, family, friends and coworkers who sent me well-wishes and helped me recover,” Lerro added.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association