I graduated from Sharon High School in 1974, and my family and I have lived in Norton since January of 1987, so I keep an eye on the high school football teams from both Massachusetts towns. When I heard that the Sharon Eagles were traveling to Norton on Saturday, November 5th, to play the Lancers in their first game on their newly-built field, although I couldn't attend the game in person, I was very interested in the result.
None of my three kids attended Norton High School, they went to Coyle and Cassidy High School in Taunton, but because I coached a lot of Norton football players in baseball, I've always kept an eye on Lancers football. Most of the kids I coached are much older now, and I no longer have a player connection to the Lancers, but I still have a hometown connection with Norton, where I live.
When I heard that the official timekeeper collapsed after the game ended, suffering a severe heart attack, I needed to know more…
Apparently, after 21-11 win, Norton head coach Jim Artz gathered his team in an end zone and had just begun addressing them when he noticed some commotion near the base of the stands. Once he was able to get a better look, he saw someone giving chest compressions to an individual lying on the ground, and that's when he knew it was serious.
Artz made his way over to the area of the track where this was happening and saw a man in his 70s lying lifeless and turning purple. That's when the chants of "Kat, Kat, Kat" started.
The one person everyone knew was capable of handling this type of medical emergency was Norton's 26-year-old athletic trainer, Kathryn "Kat" Sevigny.
By the time she was kneeling over the man, he wasn't breathing and had no pulse. It appeared that he had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. She began CPR immediately, but when it wasn't working, Kat got her Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
After Sevigny placed the defibrillator pads on the man's chest, she shocked the man's heart back into a normal rhythm. Not only was the man conscious, but he began talking. "He went from lifeless to talking," Sevigny told WBZ TV's, Brandon Truitt. "It felt like a million years. But I think it was in a span of five minutes."
Sevigny later admitted she had never used her AED before, but something told her to check the batteries before the game, having no idea she'd be using it to save a man's life just hours later…
When the dust settled, Coach Artz quickly changed from a coach who was proud of his football team to a coach who was even prouder of his athletic trainer, Kat Sevigny. Artz said, "There's no question her years of training, paired with her focus, saved the man's life. She's a hero."
I'll just add that Sevigny is one "Kool Kat", especially under pressure!