Caden Cherry had some early health hurdles as an infant, but overall he was a happy, thriving 11-year-old boy.
There was no sign of a problem—until the day he stopped breathing and collapsed during gym class.
His twin brother, Cooper, rushed to Caden’s side. He told the teachers performing CPR that Caden’s heart caused him to collapse. The school nurse had to shock Caden’s heart with an automated external defibrillator (AED) five times to get a slight pulse, and he was without oxygen for almost 10 minutes. He had suffered cardiac arrest.
At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Caden’s parents learned the severity of their son’s condition. They expected the worst—brain damage, kidney and liver damage.
But, the ventilator came out six days later. He passed all neurological tests, and his liver and kidneys returned to normal. The Cherry family was thrilled their son was alive.
Caden had a defibrillator and pacemaker implanted to help regulate the rhythm of his heart, and just eight days after arriving at Children’s unconscious, Caden returned home.
Today, Caden sees his cardiologist regularly, but he has no limitations. His family is now paying back their miracle by doing something positive, educating others in their community about the importance of learning CPR and how to use an AED.