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Floyd ATC saved athlete’s life

November 24, 2021–9:07 a.m.


Each year, Atrium Health Floyd provides more than 37,000 hours of athletic training to more than 3,000 student-athletes in our community, at no cost to the schools, the students, or their families.

One of those athletic trainers is Hope Horne, a licensed Athletic Trainer serving at Pepperell High School.

When practices begin for fall football, many of these athletes aren’t acclimated to the heat after being indoors over the summer. ATCs like Hope take many safety precautions to ensure they stay safe in the heat, measuring heat and humidity on the practice fields, ensuring coaches and athletes take timely water breaks, and reiterating the importance of staying hydrated.

One day this past summer, Hope was working with the high school football team when a middle school coach from a nearby field ran over to her. A middle school student-athlete had fainted on the field. Hope assessed the young athlete, found him to be in and out of consciousness, and confirmed that he was in danger.

Hope quickly took action. She called 911 and arranged for the student to be brought to the high school fieldhouse and quickly put him in an ice bath she already had prepared. When EMTs arrived, the student was unconscious. He was taken to the Atrium Health Floyd Emergency Care Center where he was treated, then transported to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta for further treatment. The student lost consciousness for more than six hours before regaining consciousness.

He was discharged the next morning with his care team pointing out that if Hope had not acted so quickly and been prepared to cool the young athlete’s overheated body, he may not have survived.

During that practice, a total of five middle school students became ill from the heat. Hope was there to help all of them. And, she and our other ATCs provided an education program for all middle and high school coaches on how to detect symptoms of heat-related illness and how to respond, and the coaches and ATCs are working together to develop a plan to have ice baths at middle school fields when extreme heat is expected in the future.​​​​​​​

Hope was recognized by the Floyd County Board of Education for her efforts. She is an example to her teammates, student-athletes, their families, and to our community that Atrium Health Floyd is on the field, in our schools and serving in our neighborhoods to improve health, elevate hope and advance healingfor all.