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Old 05-02-2009, 03:03 PM
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Default School Nurse Dies After Performing CPR

School nurse dies after performing CPR

By Lisa Fernandez

Mercury News

Updated: 04/30/2009 08:35:18 AM

School nurse Eileen Bowden dropped to her knees and began performing CPR on the stricken softball coach. He had just collapsed during practice Tuesday at Santa Clara High School while students watched.
Thirty compressions, two long breaths. Repeat.

But minutes after helping save Coach John Rahbar's life, Bowden herself collapsed. She was dead that evening before the ambulance arrived at Valley Medical Center. It's hard for people to fathom the tragic twist of events.
"I'm trying to make sense of it all," said Santa Clara police officer Jake Malae, who also was there to perform CPR on Rahbar. "Here she was, trying to save a life, and then she lost hers. I'm sad for her family, but I'm glad her actions were able to save John."

Rahbar, 41, is recovering at Kaiser-Santa Clara hospital from his mysterious collapse.The cause of Bowden's death was unknown Wednesday, and her family has asked for privacy as they mourn her sudden loss.
Auria Batres, a former school co-worker, described the 59-year-old nurse as outgoing, passionate about teaching students about health and a devoted mother to her daughter. The news that Bowden died while helping save the life of another circulated rapidly and widely from the Santa Clara field. The softball team's game Wednesday against Palo Alto High School was canceled.

Malae said he and Bowden had both been in an after-school truancy meeting Tuesday afternoon. Malae, a longtime friend of the coach, had headed out to the field to watch a friend's kid practice. On his way, some students wildly flagged him down, pointing to Rahbar. He was lying face up on the track. He had no pulse. He wasn't breathing. Rahbar had been racing around off-campus to retrieve the errant foul balls his girls' team had hit over the fence from school. On his way back to the field, he collapsed.

"The first thing I thought was about John pushing his daughter in a stroller and how happy he looked doing that," Malae said. "And I thought of my own daughters. I just didn't want him to go. My training took over."
He started CPR. After three or four minutes, Bowden appeared. She was on her way home, headed to the parking lot. But she stopped to help, too. "Can I help with compressions?" Bowden asked. "Sure,'' Malae said. The two worked together, urging Rahbar to breathe. Bowden was calm and professional, Malae said. In minutes, firefighters and paramedics arrived and whisked Rahbar into an ambulance. With their job done, Bowden backed up, allowing the emergency responders to take over. As Bowden stood off to the side, Malae saw her fall. "It was like in slow motion," Malae said. "She fell forward. There was nothing there to break her fall." He saw her head hit concrete. "I ran over to her and called another Code 3 request for fire," Malae said. "She was bleeding and in and out of consciousness." About two hours later, Malae got a call from his sergeant: Bowden was dead.

Speaking from the hospital, Rahbar's wife, Lilly, told the Mercury News on Wednesday that her husband's vital signs are good, but doctors aren't sure why his heart stopped. "We don't know why he passed out," she said, thankful to the school nurse she didn't even know. "If it wasn't for the police officer and the nurse, my husband wouldn't be here," Lilly Rahbar said. "My heart goes out to her family. They've lost a wonderful person."
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:37 PM
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Wow ... Not sure what to say. I guess God had one last task for her. She must have been an angel.
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Old 05-02-2009, 08:01 PM
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She died in the line of duty....thats a true hero. So sad . My thoughts are with her and her family.
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Old 05-12-2009, 05:17 AM
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Did they ever found out what happened to her? That is so sad
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cpr , school nurse

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