Principal survives heart attack at school

KINGS MOUNTAIN, NC (WBTV) - It was like any other day at Kings Mountain Intermediate School when things went terribly wrong.

Principal Henry Gilmore was preparing for a PTA Christmas Show when he started feeling pain in his chest.

"It felt like indigestion for about 5 seconds, then the pain very quickly got a lot worse," said Gilmore.

He went to the school nurse and RN Leah Costner right away knew something wasn't right. "His blood pressure bottomed out," said Costner.

Paramedics came and rushed Gilmore to the hospital then a helicopter flew him to a hospital in Charlotte. After a surgery to place a stint in his heart, which was 100 percent blocked, Gilmore is ok.

He's now hoping his experience will help save other lives. After the attack, the school nurse called the school board and pleaded for an Automated External Defibrillator or AED in the school. She didn't have one when Gilmore had his attack, but hopes his case can help make the need clear.

Cleveland County Schools have AED's in all middle and high schools, but not elementary.

The district has 17 elementary schools. The units cost between $1,000 to $2,000 a piece.

Gilmore agrees the price is steep, but if ever needed in a rescue situation, could pay for itself infinitely.