Perry Hall JV field hockey player collapses during game

Members of JV field hockey teams from Catonsville and Perry Hall huddle together as emergency personnel tend to Breanna Sudano, after the Perry Hall player suddenly collapsed on the Catonsville High field Tues., Sept. 27. (Photo by Noah Scialom, Patuxent Publishing / September 26, 2011)

Beth Beautz wanted to see her friend Audrey White's daughter play a varsity field hockey for Catonsville High, so Beautz decided to attend the Comets' game against visiting Perry Hall on Sept. 27.

But Beautz never did get to see the team play at Catonsville High that evening.

Instead, she helped save a life.

The junior varsity game between the same two schools had just finished when Perry Hall player Breanna Sudano collapsed on the field and stopped breathing.


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"I saw a woman run across the field and I knew it didn't look right," Beautz said.

Beautz, a cardiology nurse since 1989, saw the situation escalate into a serious emergency when Catonsville JV coach Christine Ehrlichman began administering CPR to Breanna.

Having just completed a course in advanced cardiac life support — which emphasizes more compressions per minute — Beautz ran across the field to help.

"I just took over for the coach doing compressions," Beautz said.

After 911 was called, Beautz, Ehrlichman, Perry Hall varsity coach Chastin Faith, Catonsville parents Shelly Hunt and Melissa Law alternately took turns giving CPR before Baltimore County paramedics arrived.

"The JV coach (Ehrlichman) deserves a lot of credit. She acted quickly and started CPR," said Beautz.

As the rapid compressions continued, Beautz saw a positive sign from Breanna; she was trying to get a breath.

"She had a lot of fight," Beautz said.

Paramedics from Medic Unit 4 arrived at the scene, and used an electric shock from an AED (automated external defibrillator) to increase Breanna's heart rate.She was then transported to St. Agnes Hospital, and later moved to the University of Maryland Pediatric Unit.

Three days after Breannacollapsed, Perry Hall athletic director Bob Hruz said Breanna was "walking around, eating cookies and playing Wii."

When Beautz heard the news of Breanna's improved condition, she was elated.

"A miracle happened and she made it. I am just very, very happy for that family," Beautz said.

Beautz credited all who came to Breanna's aid: ""There is no way one person could have done CPR by themselves. It was a team effort."

She was modest about her role in helping to save Breanna's life.

"You are taught to do CPR until somebody comes to relieve you," Beautz said. "I just did what I was trained to do."