When Kerry MacKinnon’s friend Hope Reindl collapsed while playing basketball in an open gym session last year at , her coaches told her to run for the automated external defibrillator, a medical device that ultimately helped save her life.
As , basketball coaches Rick Miekley, of Sound Beach, and Justin Seifert, of Port Jefferson Station, acted to save Reindl's life by administering CPR. The unsung hero, according to her mother was MacKinnon who ran around looking for the device.
“She may not be the most influential person in Port Jefferson Station but in our home she is the unsung hero,” said MacKinnon’s mother, Mary, in an email to Port Jefferson Patch .
At a recent baseketball game, MacKinnon recounted the details of the harrowing ordeal of last Spring.
“We were playing a five on five basketball game in open gym and she just fainted,” said MacKinnon. “The coaches helped her out and someone shouted to run and get the AED.”
She immediately began searching for the device but didn’t know where it was. A classmate, Sam Kane, a senior at the time, told her where to get the AED. She grabbed the device and brought it back to the coaches who used it to revive Reindl. MacKinnon pointed out where she found the AED, hanging on a wall in the lobby outside of the gym between two entrance doors.
Principal Joe Coniglione said that MacKinnon's actions that day speaks to the character of the students who attend Comsewogue High School.
"Kerry is a phenomenal athlete and within seconds she was able to get the AED," he said. "It was a heroic effort by everybody in the gym at the time, especially Kerry doing what she needed to do."
MacKinnon said that her friend is doing well now and that she’s an all-star bowler since she had to give up playing on the Comsewogue softball team.
In out of five nominees.
Her mother said that the coaches “did a fantastic job and they have received many accolades from various organizations, as they rightly should” but she nominated her daughter for Patch Person of the Year because as she said, “in our hearts she will always be the unsung hero of 2011.”