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High Point University student helps save Atkins High School student’s life

Second-year graduate student Johnathon Friar jumped into action one Tuesday early March after a student collapsed and stopped breathing.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A graduate student from High Point University was honored Friday for saving a Winston-Salem high schooler’s life, according to school officials.

Johnathon Friar is a second-year student in the Master of Science athletic training program at HPU.

The grad student jumped into action one Tuesday in early March after a student had collapsed.

Katie Hanes-Romano, certified athletic trainer with Wake Forest Baptist Health was working at Atkins High School with a football player when a couple of junior varsity soccer players rushed in and said the player was not breathing.

School officials said it was then Hanes-Romano and Friar ran to the scene, using an automatic external defibrillator, analyzed the student’s condition and delivered a shock to help revive them.

“On the way to the scene it felt like I was in a dream it was so surreal,” Friar said. “It was a joyful and relieving feeling when he sat up and said a few things.”

He was recognized by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association with a Life Saver Certificate.

Friar said his HPU professors, classes and training, as well as Hanes-Romano and Leslie Long, athletic director at Atkins High School, helped give him the skills he needed in that situation.

“I can’t be more grateful for my professors, Katie and Leslie for preparing me for that moment,” he said. “The tremendous preparation we do is worth it. It’s health care – it’s saving a life.”

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