Meghan Hancock, sophomore exercise science major from Fairview, and Callie Petty, sophomore psychology major from Abilene, were both hospitalized this week. Hancock collapsed while running in Lifetime Wellness class and Petty was hospitalized for less than two days after being hit by a drunk driver. Hancock is still in an induced coma in the hospital, and Petty was released on Monday evening.
Doctors placed Hancock in a coma and were forced to put her on a cooling system to preserve her organs after her heart and blood pressure did not return to normal levels. Stacey Hancock, Meghan’s mother, said she doesn’t understand why it happened but that she is more worried about the long-term effects it will have.
“Right now, our biggest worry is if there is going to be brain damage,” Hancock said. “We don’t know how long she was without oxygen. We do know her heart stopped more than once, and they had to revive her.”
Doctors are slowly bringing Hancock off the cooling system. Once her body temperature is normal, they will begin taking her out of the coma and see how her body reacts.
“I’ve heard great stories from this treatment,” Hancock said. “People have said it’s exactly what we need. The response time was so good when she went down that the doctor said she has the best chance she could possibly have because of how people reacted.”
Deonna Shake, instructor of Kinesiology and Nutrition and of Hancock’s Lifetime Wellness class, said she saw Hancock collapse on the indoor track in the Rec Center.
Hancock was participating in the 12-minute running assignment for the class. On her 8th lap, Hancock placed her hands on her knees and then collapsed. Carrie Casada, wife of psychology professor Dr. John Casada, was walking the track at the time and was the first on the scene. She alerted the Rec Center staff at the front desk, who called 911. Molly Bagley was the first student worker to arrive and had experience with rescues. Another student in the lifetime wellness class, James Granthum, was a professional lifeguard from Florida. Bagley and Granthum immediately began performing CPR.
“These two kids literally were the first on the scene to help Meghan within a minute,” Shake said. “When I got there, you could tell Meghan was unconscious and unresponsive, her color wasn’t great at the time, and it looked like she was struggling to catch a breath. This started around 8:37, and she was out the door by 9, from start to finish, which really says a lot about everybody’s response time.”
Stacey Hancock said she wasn’t surprised by the support the ACU community had given them, but that she was very thankful for it.
“I just think we’re so incredibly blessed and grateful to be at ACU. Of any place other than at home, this is the next best place for Meghan to be,” Hancock said. “And because the students care and love her, you know they don’t have to know her to love a Christian sister, that right there is a blessing because God’s hearing that. That’s encouraging to us, and I think others are encouraged by ACU’s actions.”
Hancock is expected to remain hospitalized for at least a week and may not return to ACU this semester.
“Even in a situation like this, God had his hand in it,” Shake said. “And He’s not done here.”
Petty was also hospitalized this week when she was hit by a drunk driver at 2 a.m. while going to visit her family’s ranch on Sunday.
“I was going up the hill and saw headlights but couldn’t tell which side of the road they were on,” Petty said. “When I got to the top, that was the last thing I remembered.”
A response team was forced to cut Petty out of her car. When the accident was reported, it was called in as a fatal accident.
“Pretty much all I kept hearing was ‘It’s a miracle you’re even alive,'” Petty said.
Petty suffered three broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder, a concussion, a fracture on her growth plate and various bruises and scrapes. She was hospitalized for a day and a half butÂ returned to classes on Thursday.
The other driver had a blood alcohol level of .24 percent, Petty said. The legal limit for operation of a motor vehicle is .08 percent.
“Whenever it first happened, I was really angry that someone would get in a vehicle while that intoxicated,” Petty said. “I was bitter. I was even mad at God for it, but then I realized I was lucky to not be in a wheelchair or something worse. It makes me thankful. I realized my life is a privilege that can be taken away. I kind of feel like I got a second chance.”
Petty said she was very grateful for the ACU community.
“I had people call me, and people I didn’t even know contact me on Facebook saying they were praying,” Petty said. “It’s an amazing feeling.”