Local Heroes Honored for Saving OCU Student's Life

The quick action of staff members and first responders saved an Ohio Christian University (OCU) athlete’s life and their actions were recognized at a ceremony on Thursday.

On August 25, Katelynn Ising, 21, of Groveport, had just finished a drill during soccer practice and had stepped off the field when she went into cardiac arrest.


The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office and the Circleville Fire Department recognized Tyler Payne, chief of OCU security; Nicole Lewis, OCU athletic trainer and Justin Schleich, deputy sheriff, with a plaque for their efforts in saving Ising’s life before EMS arrived at the scene.


Also recognized for their quick response to an emergency situation were Adam Swingle, OCU assistant women’s soccer coach; Ben Bellman, OCU athletic director; Cpt. Arron Kerns, Circleville Fire Department; Circleville Fire Chief Marc Zingarelli and Jake Warren, OCU head women’s soccer coach.


It was determined that Ising has right ventricular dysplasia, a condition common in athletes ages 17 to 24. The issue can be genetic. “I lost memory for about a week and woke up in the hospital,” Ising said.


Ising had an automatic defibrillator implanted in her chest and has been taking it easy the last few months. She is not allowed to exercise or work and is on daily medication. She is currently taking one online class and her goal is to get back to playing soccer, which she has been doing since she was 3-years-old.


“The doctors told me I was one of very few to walk out after this,” Ising said. Kerns said that Ising had to be defibrillated on the field.


“This young lady right here is a testament that CPR works,” Kerns said. “If it wasn’t for CPR, we may not be having this presentation.”


Zingarelli also stressed the importance of knowing CPR. He said that it typically takes EMS four to six minutes to respond to a scene and at six minutes, a person starts to loose brain cells.


Zingarelli said that Ising is alive, walking and talking because of CPR.


About OCU

Ohio Christian University is committed to offering a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally and spiritually. OCU offers degree programs for residential undergraduate students, graduate students, and adult and online students. Every program is designed to equip students to become leaders in their careers, communities, families, and the world.