By Shakirah Thebus
A 15 year old grade 9 learner at San Souci Girls High has been labelled a hero after saving the life of her athletics coach. It was an extraordinary day at school when Kyra Stevens was interrupted by an educator and asked for her glucometer as she was diabetic. Moments later her name was called on the intercom machine and she was requested to go to the community room where her rugby coach Shafiek Murphy had been lying unconscious – believed to have been in a diabetic coma. Because she had never seen anyone in that state before, she didn’t know what to expect. She entered the room and saw her coach lying on the floor and was told by the teachers present that she had to take control of the situation.
“They told me I must do everything, and I said okay and I took it in my stride,” Stevens told VOC Breakfast Beat.
Stevens had a sense of calm under pressure and with quick thinking, immediately tried to check his sugar levels, but his hand were too cold and she was unable to find blood. She told one of the teachers present to keep his other hand and try to warm it up so that she could extract some blood. She managed to obtain blood from the other hand and checked it. The reading she received on the machine was too high.
Stevens grabbed the teacher’s insulin and administered 25 units. The coach was rushed to the hospital by another educator soon after.
“The next day coach Murphy phoned me and said if it wasn’t for me, he would’ve died.”
Kyra Stevens was honoured by San Souci high for her heroric deed, in this video by her mom posted on Facebook
Murphy, the head coach of the girl’s rugby team vaguely recalls the incident. He remembered he had eaten a sandwich at his desk and minutes later he collapsed. The next moment, he found himself in the hospital still disorientated.
The doctor had informed Mr Murphy that had she not administered the insulin in time, he would not have been alive today. Stevens continues to check up on her coach every day through texts as he is still trying to recover from the ordeal.
Stevens herself has been diagnosed with diabetes since July 2017 as well as ADHD.
“It has not been very easy, I don’t have my diabetes under control yet, but I’m getting a grasp on it day by day.”
The coach was informed that Kyra had some trouble adjusting to living with diabetes and he approached her and told her that he too had been living with diabetes for over 20 years.
“Kyra is full of energy and very bubbly. Kyra was one of my top sprinters at the athletics but then I found out in that time that Kyra was also diabetic, and I knew that somehow, we can relate to each other,” said Mr Murphy.
“It’s not easy, but you need to have someone you can go to and I’m that go-to person at school. My door is always open.”
This formed the basis of their friendship at school. Mr Murphy would give her advice on how to administer insulin and other diabetes-related challenges.
Mr Murphy’s advice to those affected by diabetes is to make it known to the school and one’s friends. He urged learners not to hide it as this is a common tendency among those affected with diabetes. He urged people to take an interest in diabetes and what to do in similar cases.
Stevens’ advice to all, especially youth much like herself was to gain awareness on issues and to live life to the fullest. VOC