Mat-Su nursing, paramedic students get firsthand experience in saving a life -- in class

If you must go into cardiac arrest, there aren't many places better to do it than in a nursing class that's meeting across the hall from a paramedics class. Norman Knaak, a student in the Matanuska-Susitna College nursing program, was kept alive by students last week until the professional paramedics arrived on the scene. He tells the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman he'll follow up on his good luck by paying attention to his diet, exercise and medicines.

Knaak, 55, thought it was just nervous stress when he began to feel a woozy wave crash over his body during a final presentation in one of his nursing classes at Mat-Su College Thursday.

In the intensive care unit at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center on Friday, Knaak said he began to feel like he’d just given blood, then he tipped forward and fell onto the floor.

His classmates rushed to his side and checked for a pulse and breathing. Knaak said he was told that he had no pulse, but was struggling to breathe.

“I was really struggling and fighting for life,” Knaak said.

Read more at The Frontiersman.