HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – It’s rare to see a 15-year-old high school student hugging his school principal at a packed news conference. But Devon Octave has a special bond with principal Rene Rovirosa.
On October 31, Devon was at wrestling practice at Mater Lakes Academy in Hialeah when he collapsed and went into sudden cardiac arrest. Luckily, principal Rovirosa happened to be walking by and started CPR.
“I started giving you mouth to mouth,” Rovirosa told Devon, who doesn’t remember what happened that afternoon. “He gave me a breath that made me feel I was losing him. I said ‘Devon don’t go, Devon don’t leave now.”
Turns out, Rovirosa had just completed CPR training six days earlier. He was able to get Devon breathing again until paramedics arrived. They transported him to Miami Children’s hospital where doctors discovered he suffered from a congenital heart condition. They surgically implanted a defribillator tor to prevent future heart failure events.
“Devon was clinically dead. He was surgically dead for seven minutes,” said Dr. Anthony Rossi, director of cardiac intensive care at Miami Childrens Hospital.
Devon’s mother thanked the doctors and nurses at Miami Childrens for Devon’s care. She also thanked students and parents at Mater Lakes Academy who visited him on a daily basis during his hospital stay. She also had a special thank you to principal Rovirosa.
“He’s a friend for life now,” Rovirosa said, referring to Devon. “He’s mine now.”