By Beth Germano

PEABODY (CBS) – When the call came from the nurse over the two-way radio, Principal Eric Buckley heard the urgency. “We could tell it was a little more than someone just passing out,” said Buckley.

At dismissal time, by the front door at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, 16-year-old Deirianny Brea was in cardiac arrest on the floor. According to protocol, the staff grabbed a defibrillator and went to work.

student Principal Saves Student In Cardiac Arrest

Deirianny Brea (WBZ-TV)

For Eric Buckley it was the first time he put his training into action. “Was I nervous? We were doing everything possible, everything right to make sure this kid is OK,” he said.

In other words there was no time to worry, just follow the step by step instructions of the AED. Brea’s family says they are more than grateful to the principal and his staff. “I didn’t know it was the principal who saved her it’s amazing and he’s an angel,” said Deirianny’s aunt Cindy Caba.

pric Principal Saves Student In Cardiac Arrest

Principal Eric Buckley (WBZ-TV)

The high school junior’s family says she has little memory of what happened but is stable and still hospitalized. “All I know is she’s breathing today, she’s alive thanks to them,” said Caba.

The school system bought the defibrillators eight years ago after a similar incident with a student. Principal Buckley says the hope is you never have to use them. “The good feeling is that she’ll be OK, that’s the biggest feeling,” Buckley said.

aaed Principal Saves Student In Cardiac Arrest


With four defibrillators located around the high school, Buckley hopes it can be a lesson for other districts. “It works and I would suggest to any school system that doesn’t have these to find a way in their budget to get them into their schools,” Buckley said.

In January, Governor Charlie Baker signed a law requiring every Massachusetts school have at least one defibrillator on site. Schools have until July 1st of next year to comply.


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