Vigilant teachers save Owosso High School student suffering a stroke

Published: Dec. 12, 2019 at 6:04 PM EST
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(12/12/2019) - Dakota Vincent is an 18-year-old Owosso High School senior who loves everything about school, including his teachers.

"Mr. Barter, he's got - he's a special guy. All I know is that he's funny," Dakota said. "Mrs. Venne, she's very lovable towards everybody."

The English teacher and special education paraprofessional feel the same about him.

"It's definitely a joy to have him around and in your life because he just puts a little bit of glitter in your life, makes everybody put a smile on their face," Venne said.

The three say what happened on Nov. 19 in Barter's classroom made them feel more appreciative.

"He left the room and then he was gone about four minutes," Barter said. "And then came back and he was walking across the room, and I noticed he was walking differently. He just had a different look on his face."

Barter said he asked Dakota what was wrong, but he didn't respond. He couldn't.

"I looked over at Kim and Kim just kind of gave me a nod, like should I run for help. And, I said yes and she left immediately," he said.

With a class full of students, they were trying to keep everyone calm.

That simple nod turned out to be life saving, getting Dakota help right away. He was having a stroke.

"They got here and got him out and it's, you know -- the rest happened really fast," Barter said.

The ambulance arrived within just three minutes to rush Dakota to Memorial Healthcare. His parents said 26 minutes later, Dakota received his first dose of medication.

"I couldn't talk then. If I would've, I would've said thank you for saving my life," Dakota said.

He's still struggling to speak, but he's glad that's the worst of it.

"I'm really happy to be alive again," Dakota said.

His teachers and the EMTs received a Citizens Award for Outstanding Services Rendered this week.

"The response of the paramedics, the response at the hospital, like really it's a community honor more than anything," Barter said. "But definitely, I feel the whole school should feel proud and feel confident we have a team that responds so quickly."

Dakota was home from the hospital for Thanksgiving and back to school last week. While he was gone, his classmates raised more than $800 to help pay his medical bills.

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