Glen Peyton gives a thumbs up after being airlifted to St. Louis. He collapsed while officiating the Calhoun - Carrollton JV Basketball game on February 9.

HARDIN - The importance of Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) can never be understated.

It was very apparent on Friday night during the junior varsity boys basketball matchup between Calhoun and Carrollton at Calhoun High School how much AEDs are needed in certain situations.

An AED was used on official Glen Peyton, also a Calhoun High School history teacher and former head Calhoun football coach, after he collapsed on the court with heart distress. The AED was used quickly on Peyton and it resulted in his life being saved, Calhoun Superintendent Dr. Kate Sievers said.

Sievers said the AEDs at the high school and junior high/elementary school are within 10-20 yards of the gymnasiums at both complexes.

“Words can’t express how thankful we are for the AED and the community members who jumped in and saved Mr. Peyton’s life,” Sievers said. “Without the help of the AED and their work, Mr. Peyton wouldn’t be here today. A physician - Lonn Grandia - and two others Melissa Zipprich, PA-C, and Jackie Baalman, FNP-BC - can be credited with helping to save Mr. Peyton. The people with the volunteer ambulance group and the helicopter flight staff who took him to St. Louis also deserve a lot of credit.”

Sievers said those who live and Calhoun and beyond are thankful Mr. Peyton will apparently be OK after the incident.

“He has many, many friends and students who love him,” she said. “He grew up from the junior high to the high school in the community. On top of that the kids absolutely love him and when they talk about Mr. Peyton stories, it brings a lot of smiles.”

Sievers has been told that Peyton should be returning home to recover in Calhoun County within a few days after a heart procedure in St. Louis. Sievers said Peyton did have a heart attack on the gymnasium floor.

She also said that because of this incident, those in Calhoun County are going to look at additional public buildings and make sure wherever needed and possible there are AEDs installed.

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