Most parents live on the edge of terror. It's not noticed most of the time and for most people it doesn't interfere with leading a happy, healthy family life. It's there and it shows up when children are endangered in a way where parental intervention just can't make a difference.
For most parents, the reminder of the terror of a threatened child comes to mind only when something terrible happens to a child, and the resulting feeling, many reading this will be able to attest, is one of profound sadness combined with helplessness.
A situation that had the horrifying potential to bring terrible sadness to a Bel Air family and leave many others pointedly reminded of the reality that we can't always be there to protect our kids came to a happy and heroic conclusion last week at C. Milton Wright High School.
A 17-year-old girl playing for the home girls basketball team, whose name hasn't been released by the school system or public safety authorities, collapsed last week on the court during the game. Cooler heads prevailed.
Coaches and people on the scene began CPR. Someone had the good sense to get one of modern technology's miracles off a nearby wall, an AED device. The device was used three times to get the girl's heart going. It wasn't, however, a miracle fix. CPR was resumed when the girl's pulse faded. An ambulance arrived and the teen was taken to a hospital where she was in good condition the next morning.
The girl's recovery is in no small part thanks to one cool head, in particular that of State Police Trooper First Class Adam Davies, who is also a trained emergency medical technician.
Asked about the incident, he noted the confusion, saying: "Prior to me kind of stepping up, I think people just weren't sure what to do...Then you have the emotional side of it because it was a 17-year-old girl, because it was so unexpected."
The calming influence of having someone who knew what to do and was able to coordinate resuscitation efforts seems to have made all the difference, as Davies observed: "Obviously everyone being there and working together was probably the biggest thing... Everybody was pretty responsive when I asked for something. It worked perfectly. Everyone came together."
Just as it is the deepest fear of all parents that something like what happened last week at C. Milton Wright High School will befall one of their children, it is their greatest hope that people like Adam Davies and the others who were on hand to administer first aid to the teen will be on hand and willing to step up any time a child is in danger.
The people who took action, Trooper Davies foremost among them, are heroes of a kind that allow parents to breathe a little easier when they think about the safety of their kids. That's about as heroic as it gets.