Middle school staff's quick action credited with saving student

Ramon Rios
Zander Jordan at Sacred Heart Hospital after he suffered a TIA during his art class at King Middle School. His mother Sundae Wark credits art teacher Lindsay Pharo and school health technician Debbie busby with saving his life. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

MILTON — A local mother is crediting the fast responses of King Middle School staff for saving her son's life.

Sundae Wark, mother of 13-year-old Zander Jordan, said that if it had not been for the quick actions of teacher Lindsay Pharo and school health technician Debbie Busby things for her son could have turned out a lot worse. Jordan recently had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke, during his third period art class at King Middle School.

“The doctor said if it wasn't for the fast actions of the teacher and the nurse that it could have been an even worse outcome for my son. They saved my son's life,” Wark said.

At 11 a.m. on Dec. 4, Pharo's art class students were settling into their desks to watch a movie. Pharo noticed that Jordan was not his normal self. She knew Jordan was diagnosed with epilepsy and suffered seizures, but he was passing out.

Pharo immediately took Jordan to see Busby at the nurse's office. Busby examined Jordan but she could not keep him conscious. According to Wark, her son would pass out then wake up but remain unresponsive and then pass out again.

Busby called Jordan's mother and he was taken to see his doctor at Sacred Heart Hospital. After several tests, the doctor said he was having a TIA.

A TIA is a stroke that lasts only a few minutes. It happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly blocked. Symptoms of a TIA are like other stroke symptoms, but do not last as long. They happen suddenly, and include numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body.

Wark credits Pharo with knowing her students well enough to tell when they are not being their normal selves and taking immediate action. She commends Busby for her quick assessment and not wasting any time to get her son medical help.

“Both of these lovely ladies went beyond what was expected of them,” Wark said.

Making the effort to go beyond what is expected may be a trend at the school as evident by librarian Scott Cole's actions. Cole developed a friendship with Jordan, who also wants to be a librarian. When he heard Jordan was in the hospital he brought the student several graphic novels, Jordan's favorite reading material, to keep him reading.

“I would like to recognize them.” Wark said.