Mayor honors nurse who saved student’s life

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Espen Rushing, left, and his mother, Kameo, right, at the the State of the City event at city hall. [Bryan Mordt]

Dan Grass, a nurse at Maricopa’s Exceptional Community Hospital, was honored for acting fast and saving the life of a Sequoia Pathway Middle School student and athlete.

The honor was presented by Mayor Nancy Smith at her “State of the City” speech Wednesday night at Maricopa City Hall.

Espen Rushing, 14, an honor student at Sequoia Pathway, collapsed from what was later diagnosed as cardiac failure during a basketball tryout at Maricopa Wells Middle School in August.

The youth has since been nominated to a Junior National Young Leaders conference in Washington, D.C. He was nominated by his social studies teacher at the Sequoia.

His parents, Kameo and Darrell Rushing, raced their son to Exceptional’s emergency room and were met by Grass, who attended to him until the boy was treated and stabilized.

The next day, Espen was transported to a Phoenix hospital and was determined to have an irregular heartbeat that led to his medical condition.

“We are blessed to have emergency services like this in Maricopa,” the mayor said.