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June 30, 2016 • Headline News
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“My hands were working faster than my mind...”

Local student saves teen

Mary Mattingly

Josh Walston is a hero. It’s not what he says, but it’s what others are saying after the 17-year-old saved another teen. The South Ripley senior was attending the Boys State camp in Angola, Indiana in mid June along with Carson Powers, also of South Ripley. Both had been selected from the Versailles American Legion to attend the program to learn about how government works.

Josh Walston saves teenagerSUBMITTED PHOTO
Pictured is Josh Walston. Josh saved the life of another teen recently, while attending Boys State camp in Angola.

In between sessions, the teens had extracurricular activities. As Walston was coming off the softball field, the player in front of him collapsed. Walston, who was trained in CPR at the Southeastern Career Center class and is a Versailles junior cadet firefighter, went into action. He didn’t think; he just acted. “It was all so fast. I knew what to do,” the son of Malena Hunger of Versailles said. “My hands were working faster than my mind, kind of like a “Matrix” thing.” It’s a good thing. The teen, who he didn’t really know but was from Kokomo, apparently had a heart attack. The teen’s parents learned later he went into sudden cardiac arrest due to a condition that often affects young athletes without any symptoms. (Coincidentally, South Ripley graduate Doug Meyer has established a non profit organization to fund free cardiac EKG screenings for area high school athletes in Central and Southeastern Indiana to avoid such tragedies.)

Walston said he wasn’t nervous at the time; that didn’t happen until after the fire department and first responders arrived, a few minutes after the boy collapsed. It was the first time he had actually used the training he learned the past year. “I think I was really well-prepared,” he said, mentioning he was taught through SCC instructor Ben Sieverding. He immediately administered compressions to the young man’s chest/heart area until the first responders arrived; the teen was air cared and was in the hospital for several days but doing okay. The boy’s parents are grateful for Walston’s fast thinking and CPR skills, and have kept him up to date on their son’s condition.

Walston’s counselor called Sieverding to let them know that his cadet and SCC student had saved a life, that he was a hero. The magnitude of saving a life is sinking in now, but he said a few days after the incident, “I wasn’t trying to be a hero or anything.” He just knew what to do. As a result, Walston received a certificate of appreciation from the American Legion and a $1000 scholarship toward furthering his EMS training. This impulse or act confirmed Walston’s plans; he wants to be a full-time firefighter.

Local Bulletin Board

Deadline: Friday, August 5
Tyson Fund grant applications available
It is almost here! What you ask? Many years ago, before Jim Tyson passed away, he wanted to set up a system to perpetually assist the residents in Versailles with things that might otherwise increase their taxes. He decided that he would set up a trust so that groups that are nonprofit and hold an IRS 501c (3) or (4) exemption could request funds to help them out with projects that would otherwise fall on the taxpayers in the Versailles area! Each year about this time, an open application process is offered so that the Tyson Fund Trustees can decide what projects will benefit from this year’s trust distribution. To qualify for the funds you must be from/in the Versailles area. Must be nonprofit and must hold an IRS 501c (3) or (4) exemption. To learn more and find out how to apply pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican dated May 26.

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