LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It was Friday, September 6, just another workday for LaVergne High School science teacher Garry Gannon.
“Well, I felt fine. I taught three classes that morning and I came in here to do my lunch duty,” he recalled.
Gannon continued, “I was just standing right over here with another teacher, of course, there were 300 kids in here and I told him I felt a little dizzy and I wanted to sit down, there was a chair here, and I sat in it, and that’s all I remember.”
SRO Shane Vaughn and school nurse Rachel Bullard were among those to respond.
“We weren’t really sure at the beginning what was said, but we could tell there was panic in the person’s voice who was calling for us.”
Bullard said she remembered hearing “Code blue, seizure and cafeteria” and “We need the nurse now.”
“I took off running,” she said.
Officer Vaughn said, “I came running around this way and I saw him lying there. And I could just tell his face was starting to turn blue and so I knew then it wasn’t going to be good.”
“I was like, ‘ok, check the pulse. There’s no pulse,’” Bullard recalled.
Bullard said they started CPR and asked for an AED.
“Once we got the AED, we put it on him. It did not advise a shock. We continued CPR,” she said.
“I took over and then we are waiting for the AED to do its thing again, and it still didn’t shock him, and it said continue CPR. And on the third, I believe it was the third round of CPR… We could tell that there was life starting to come back in him. I told him, ‘You know, you’re not dying today.’”
“I thought I saw his arm move, so checked a pulse, tried to listen for a heartbeat,” Bullard said. “I did feel a rapid pulse at that point. We rolled him over on his side and he slowly came to.”
Gannon was ultimately rushed to the hospital by ambulance.
“I mean it felt like this whole thing lasted two hours, but literally lasted I think nine minutes total by the time he left the building,” the SRO said.
Gannon said she was shocked to learn what happened to him.
“They opened the doors and said, ‘Your heart stopped, and they had to do CPR on you, and I was just, I’m stunned, I didn’t know what to think.”
“He’s very lucky because we wouldn’t have found him for probably 30 minutes. He goes and sits in his classroom and eats lunch by himself. He died at 11:25 or so, I mean less than seven days later he’s back at work. I try to make it a point, every couple of hours to just go down there, open the door and just look in, just make him look at me and just make sure he’s alright,” Vaughn said.
“[I’m] just so grateful. I mean, you know you can’t describe it. I mean what do you say, you know? You find out that you pretty much died right here on the floor and they bring you back to life. I mean there are no words you can, you know what do you say? You know I can’t thank them enough; they saved my life.”
Rachel Bullard and Shane Vaughn were honored during a ceremony at Hyundai of Cool Springs on Wednesday. They received a plaque for saving the life of their colleague and their commitment to serving the students and staff at La Vergne High School. The ceremony was part of News 2’s monthly recognition called Hyundai of Cool Springs Heroes.
Once a month News 2, along with Hyundai of Cool Springs, will highlight a public servant who goes above and beyond the call of duty.