LODD: Pa. EMT, 22, suffers stroke while administering CPR
An artery was dissected as she performed CPR on a woman in cardiac arrest, causing her to suffer a series of strokes on her brain stem
Duty Death: Samantha Agins - [Tannersville, Pennsylvania]
End of Service: 08/11/2015
TANNERSVILLE, Pa. — A 22-year-old EMT died after suffering a series of strokes, the first of which occurred as she was administering CPR.
Samantha Agins was working Saturday as an EMT at the New Jersey Jaycee Camp when a woman went into cardiac arrest and Agins rendered care until an ambulance arrived, her mother Paula told the Pocono Record.
“Sam started giving her CPR,” Paula said. “She hooked up the AED and it kept telling her to push harder. She never wanted to quit.”
Agins performed CPR for at least 30 minutes, Paula said. Despite her efforts, the woman died, PAhomepage.com reports.
Afterward, Agins laid down and vomited, but was still alert. It was her first attempt to save a life, so everyone thought she was in shock, Paula said, but she actually suffered a stroke.
A doctor who saw her later at Pocono Medical Center said an artery was dissected when Agins performed CPR. She suffered the stroke on her brain stem, which killed all the nerves to part of her body, Paula said.
Paula asked to take Agins home after she vomited, but was told Agins needed to stay in case the coroner wanted to speak with her.
“That’s when she had another mini stroke,” Paula said. “She wasn’t as responsive as the first time, but I could take her home.”
On the ride home Paula tried to joke with Agins, who was grunting and pointing but still responsive. At 3:30 a.m., Agins suffered a major stroke and was taken to Pocono Medical Center, where the doctor explained her medical condition.
Agins was transported to Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. On Sunday doctors said she had Locked-In Syndrome, where she could hear those around her, but wasn’t aware they were there.
Agins was on life support before she died Tuesday evening, Paula said.
“I told my husband when I saw her, she was different,” Paula said. “On Monday afternoon, she was no longer in that syndrome. She was in a coma and she wasn’t coming back.”
Paula said she and her family have received tons of community support from the camp, EMTs and and on social media. She was the oldest of three sisters, and one of them created the hashtag #PurpleHeartsforSam in her honor.
“It’s been very overwhelming,” Paula said. “It speaks to the testimonial of just what kind of kid she was.”
Agins suffered severe hearing loss as a child. She was in and out of children’s hospitals, which inspired her to pursue a career in a medical field. Paula remembers her lining up her dolls and pretending they were patients.
A memorial scholarship for seniors at Pocono Mountain East High School, where she graduated from, is being set up in Agin’s name.
Agins was attending East Stroudsburg University and had aspirations of becoming a physician’s assistant.