12-year-old collapses at school, gets new heart

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 10:06 AM CDT
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OLATHE, Ks. (KMBC) – A 12-year-old collapsed during a physical education class at school when his heart stopped.

Teachers at Woodland Spring Middle School rushed to give Max Kotchavar CPR and used an automated external defibrillator to bring him back to life.

“It’s a miracle, and every time I see him, I cry,” said school nurse Jeannie Brumley, adding that she had never been in a situation like that on campus.

Brumley said Max was gray in the face and around the mouth and didn’t have a pulse.

Her training kicked in, and she was able to regain a pulse.

An ambulance took him to Children’s Mercy Hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with restrictive cardiomyopathy.

The 12-year-old needed a new heart.

“We weren’t expecting that at all, and it was pretty rough news to take,” the boy’s mother, Stephanie Kotchavar, said.

In mid-September, the Kotchavars got the call that Max would be getting a new heart, thanks to an organ donor.

He was up and walking around about a week after the transplant.

Max said he has a lot to look forward to, like playing eighth-grade football.

“(I) just expected the worst and it’s been anything but. He’s a miracle,” Kotchavar said.