Nursing student saves college student's life after collapse

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A college student collapsed on a sidewalk in downtown Charleston. The street wasn't busy and he was lucky to be found at all, but the person who found him makes him extra lucky.

When a healthy college student collapsed in downtown Charleston, one nursing student took the phrase "right place, right time" to a whole different level and ended up saving a life.

Justin Repshas is a healthy 22-year-old college student. He is majoring in exercise science and takes physical fitness seriously.

"I've played sports all my life, soccer, compete in the bridge and that kind of thing," Repshas said.

One Wednesday afternoon on his daily run, something went wrong.

"I just collapsed," Repshas said. "Then I woke up in the hospital."

What happened before he woke up in that hospital bed was a miracle.

Meg Skeele was out with friends when she drove past Repshas lying on the ground at the corner of Chapel and East Bay Streets.

Skeele, a nursing student, took action and began CPR.

"It was crazy how it all kicked into gear naturally," Skeele said. "I surprised myself. I didn't know I had that in me."

Then something even more amazing happened. A cardiologist saw the commotion and jumped in to help. Dr. Michael Bernard credits Skeele with saving Repshas's life.

"She was doing all the right things," Bernard said. "Not only that but she was doing it in a timely manner."

It turns out that Repshas has non-compaction syndrome, a rare condition he'd never even heard of.

He now sports this scar from a device that will protect him from irregular heart rhythms. Skeele sports a necklace, which was a gift from Repshas and his family for saving his life.

Repshas, Skeele and Bernard all wanted to stress the importance of learning CPR.

It only takes an afternoon to become certified.

Repshas says his condition won't allow him to be as active as he once was, but he says he's feeling great since he's been out of the hospital.

Copyright WCSC 2012. All rights reserved.