Madison County teacher saved by co-workers in class

The teachers were outside supervising a few classes of Buckhorn Middle School students who were running a mile for a PE test, when they realized something was seriously wrong.

Posted: Apr 29, 2019 6:37 PM
Updated: Apr 29, 2019 7:49 PM

A Madison County teacher is back on the job on Monday after collapsing at work. The PE teacher at Buckhorn Middle School made an incredible comeback.

Amanda Marks, a PE teacher at the school, said they're still thinking about what happened one week ago when her co-worker, Phillip Branner, became unresponsive during a physical education class.

"It is a miracle, because he was lifeless and to come back and everything he has been through and for it to happen like that, it's nothing short of a miracle," she said.

The teachers said, at first, they thought he was joking around.

"I walk over and I hit him in the arm and I got nothing, so I was like, 'This is going a little too far,'" said Dobye Willis, another teacher in the group.

The teachers were outside supervising a few classes of Buckhorn Middle School students who were running a mile for a PE test, when they realized something was seriously wrong with Branner.

"When I touched his head, he was cold as ice," Marks said.

The group then realized they needed to get the kids out of the area and call 911.

"We were shaking him and hitting him, and Coach Marks came over and hit him in the chest, and was laying him on the ground to give him CPR," Willis said.

"He was grey, and his color, you know..he is a very tan man. He sweats all the time, and he will tell you that, but he was cold and pale and he was not sweating, so we knew something was wrong," Marks said.

Branner said he found out at the hospital he had a bad mix of blood pressure medicines and was dehydrated. The PE teacher also said he has undergone many surgeries recently and didn't know if that played into him becoming unresponsive.

"I was dehydrated and I took a lot of IV bags, but I don't know how. That's what they are telling me," Branner said.

After a few day stay in the hospital, Monday he returned to school, thankful for his co-workers.

"They saved my life that day. It was a scary moment. I was ready to get back. I don't like sitting down and the doctor said I could go back, so I'm back," Branner said.

The teachers said they don't consider themselves heroes, and said their school community is like a family.

"We did what we needed to do to help him, and I just think it wasn't his time," Marks said.

The Madison County teacher said he urges anyone who doesn't feel right to get to the doctor immediately, so, hopefully, something like this doesn't happen to you.

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