1st responder’s emotional letter after student’s death: ‘I’m sorry I failed you’

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ORLANDO – A first responder sent an emotional letter to the family of an 18-year-old college student who died after having a seizure in class.

Michael Namey, a freshman at the University of Central Florida, was attending a pre-calculus class on Monday when he had a seizure.

A fellow student and trained first responder, Manny Ballestas, immediately rushed to Namey’s side and started performing CPR until emergency crews arrived, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

“I did everything I was ever trained to do,” Ballestas said in his Facebook post.

Unfortunately, Namey didn’t survive. Doctors say his death was caused by cardiac arrest.

After Namey’s death, Ballestas took to Facebook to write an emotional open letter to Namey’s family.

"Yesterday at around 11:55am, a UCF student collapsed in his class due to what is now believed to have been a massive heart attack. As a first responder, I was his fighting chance. I did everything I was ever trained to do but I was unsuccessful. The image of his face as I gave him his last breaths and pumped his chest will never leave me. Michael (I believe his name was), wherever you are now, please know that I am so sorry to you man. I am sorry I failed you. I’m sorry you lost your life so soon. I did not know you and I will never get that chance but I have no doubt in my mind that you were a remarkable human being on your path to becoming an extraordinary adult.

"To his parents, if I never get the chance to find you, I hope this reaches you: your son fought for his life without feeling any pain. I did everything I knew how to possibly do but it wasn’t enough. I cannot fathom the pain you feel and my words will never ease them but please know that I am so sorry. I will work everyday, as a student of UCF, an individual of society, and hopefully one day as a politician, to assure that what happened to your son can be prevented in schools nationwide. Whether it be by spreading the importance of knowing CPR, adding more AED machines to schools, I will make his life meaningful somehow, someway. I promise.

"To everyone else, I’m not writing this to receive any sort of sympathy, that should be directed to Michaels family, but rather to share the importance of knowing what to do in similar situations and to remember this incredible person. Just like millions of other students, including myself, Michael woke up Monday morning for school; to learn, to progress his life, to eventually become an essential part of society. Giving him a 50% chance of living versus a 0% was crucial, regardless of the outcome. Therefore, I plea to everyone out there, please go and familiarize yourselves with the basics of CPR/AED. Every single second counts, trust me. It could mean the difference between life and death.. I only wish I would have gotten to him a couple of minutes sooner.

"I ask that everyone please share this post in the hopes of spreading the importance of being CPR trained but also for me to be able to reach Michaels family.

"Lastly, to you Michael, I hope you rest in internal peace. You will be missed by the entire UCF community."

Ballestas says he is hoping his letter will show the importance of CPR training.

“Giving him a 50% chance of living versus a 0% was crucial, regardless of the outcome,” Ballestas said.


  • Idiot liberals

    I hope the family sues the medical service now that they employee has admitted guilt.

    I am so tired of these selfish FB posts. Basically, people posting their “good deeds” on their own sites to make themselves feel better.

    Look, he did poorly. The family of the dead kid deserved a better, more qualified EMT. I hope they get millions from the lawsuit.

    • Soccermom

      ^^^^^hey dumb ass maybe you should Re read the story before Maki g such stupid statements! He was NOT there as the EMT that was called in to assist he was in fact a STUDENT! who is EMT trained! He was there in the class when he decided to jump in and help in any way!! Most people would just stand back and not to a darn thing!good for him for Taking that chance! Very sad story!

    • StuPdasso

      Just pure idiocy right there^^^. Until your in that situation, shut up and learn something to help others you ignorant selfish poor thing of human ignorance. Oh and by the way I would love to have that young man near me if I ever needed help. Plus he’s covered by the good Samaritan law you idiot conservative.

    • Mom

      For real? You just made this a ‘liberal’s’ thing? Yikes, I believe you just proved a point by your own comment (I hope consevatives see this is who is representing your party…good luck with that). This first responder was a student sitting in class just like Michael. Not an on the clock EMT. What part of that was not clear?

    • Gary

      Please actually read the story before making such a stupid comment. The young man did what he could to save his life unfortunately it fell short and if you have ever been in that situation you do feel bad that it didn’t save his life. God bless the young man for trying and god be with the young man who lost his life and his family.

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