Student helps save a life in a life or death emergency


Michael Starosta used his freshman health class skills to perform CPR on a dying man.

Isaac Hogen, Staff Writer

Benilde-St. Margaret’s senior Michael Starosta saved the life of a man suffering from a heart attack using the CPR he learned in BSM’s required health class.

Starosta, who works at ProKart in Maple Grove, was proctoring a race when a he spotted a man slumped over and unconscious. He then heard someone shouting and asking if anyone knew CPR. “No one responded, so I harked back on Ms. May’s 9th grade health class and our CPR training to see what I remembered. My boss had already dialed 911 so it was really one of those ‘do or die’ situations,” Starosta said.

I feel better now that it’s all over with, but I’m still pretty shaken knowing that he was dead for a long, six minutes.

— Michael Starosta

After performing CPR and occasionally checking the man’s pulse for a few long, stressful minutes, Starosta was relieved by emergency responders. “I took a moment to check his pulse to see if I could feel anything, but my heart absolutely sank when there was no response,” Starosta said.

Later that day, Starosta learned that paramedics shocked the man four times before he regained consciousness. “I feel better now that it’s all over with, but I’m still pretty shaken knowing that he was dead for a long, six minutes,” Starosta said.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s is one of the few high schools that requires students to be CPR certified; according to health teacher, Ms. May, this is the first time that one of her students has stepped up and used their CPR training to save a life. “I’ve seen pictures where the whole gym is full [of students] learning to do CPR. At BSM, we are able to cut the classes in half so that everyone has hands on experience with a mannequin and is able to learn CPR in a much more personal environment,” Ms. May said.

With 1.5 million people suffering from heart attacks and strokes every year, it is one precautionary step that BSM can take to make the community safer; additionally, BSM is equipped with several AED machines.