Athletic trainer honored for reviving Jessie Clark student

jwarren@herald-leader.comMarch 26, 2012 

The Fayette County Board of Education honored athletic trainer Jenni Williams on Monday night for her quick action in reviving a student who collapsed during an athletic drill last month.

Williams was on duty at Lafayette High School on Feb. 6 when Benjamin Highland, an eighth-grader at Jessie Clark Middle School, collapsed during a conditioning drill. Benjamin was preparing to try out for Lafayette's baseball team.

Williams quickly treated Benjamin with an external defibrillator and then administered CPR until an ambulance arrived. He was admitted to the University of Kentucky Hospital in critical condition, but he recovered and has since returned to school.

On Monday night, school board members declared March to be athletic training month in the school district, and they presented Williams with a proclamation, citing her care for Benjamin.

Williams has been a certified athletic trainer at Lafayette since 2001. But until Feb. 6, she had never been called on to revive a stricken athlete.

"It was one of those things that we plan for and practice for, but you hope to never have to use," she said Monday night.

When the moment came, however, her training took over.

"There's a split-second of thinking that this isn't something you expect to see on a ball field, but then your training kicks in," she said.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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