An athletic trainer from Nationwide Children’s Hospital was recognized at the Delaware City Schools Board of Education meeting Monday for saving a coach’s life earlier this year.
Athletic Director Steve Glesenkamp introduced Marissa Garland, an athletic trainer at Nationwide who has worked for the district for the past three years, to the board Monday. Glesenkamp said Garland is known for her attention to detail and meticulous nature, which ended up saving the life of a Delaware coach earlier this year.
“One of our assistant coaches for soccer came up to me and (nonchalantly told me), ‘My shoulder is hurting,’” Garland, a Dublin resident, told the board. “My relationships with students are great, but I also value my relationships with our coaches and our parents. If someone is telling me something hurts, I’m going to ask what’s going on.”
Garland said she learned from the coach that he had gotten back from a trip to Arizona and later that day had felt a pop in his shoulder while working out.
“He was telling me about some numbness and tingling in his hand, and he had some loss of sensation and was feeling hot and warm,” Garland said. “I immediately start to do an evaluation … I was worried he might have a blood clot in addition to having a rib compress into his nerves, causing that tingling sensation.”
Garland said the odds of the blood clot and rib compression were rare, but she didn’t want to take a chance.
“I told him to make sure he gets it check out … to go to the emergency room,” she said. “I didn’t find it out until later, but because of the information that I gave him … they did the tests and I was right.”
Garland said the coach was taken to Riverside Medical Center that night for emergency surgery to remove the clot and the rib.
“I didn’t know about that until the next day when my head coach texted me to say, ‘Hey, good job, you saved his life!’” Garland said. “That was a big shock for me.”
Garland was nominated for and received the Service From the Heart Award 2019 from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which also came as a big shock to her.
“I didn’t even know I was nominated until I was told I’d won the award,” she said. “That was quite a surprise. I was like “okay.” I’m just doing my job. I didn’t become an athletic trainer to be praised or to get a pat on the back, so when it does happen, it’s nice. It’s nice to be recognized. I’m happy with what I did, that I helped our coach out.”
Garland said she was “honored” to be recognized by the school board.
“I try to represent Delaware as much as I can no matter where I go,” Garland said. “I try to represent (Nationwide Children’s Hospital) wherever I go, so I think it’s a good building opportunity to keep that relationship strong. I’m honored to be here, but I’m a little shy, so it’s out of my element.”
Garland said the award hasn’t changed her attitude, and she still comes in every day ready to work.
“Every day when I come into work, I try to do the best I can,” Garland said. “I care about not only our athletes at Delaware, but I care about our parents, I care about our coaches, and I love that rapport that I’ve been able to get. If it wasn’t for that rapport, he might have just gone home.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.