UCF student death prompts call for more automated external defibrillator


ORLANDO, Fla. – Heartbreak has turned students at the University of Central Florida to call for action after a student died despite efforts by other students to save his life.

At 11:58 a.m., UCF police received a 911 call, according to the university.

"The first officer arrived on scene at 11:59 a.m. as two students -- one a Disney lifeguard and the other a paramedic -- administered CPR. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was brought into the classroom at noon and deployed twice by (the) University of Central Florida Police Department. Rescue crews arrived on scene at 12:03 p.m. and took over advanced life support. The student was rushed to Oviedo ER and then transported to Central Florida Regional Hospital," said a press release by UCF.

"What happened on Monday will stay with me for the rest of my life," said Manny Orozco, as he stood outside Health and Public Affairs Building 1, where just days before he gave the student CPR.

Orozco had once dreamed of becoming a doctor. At 14, he started taking CPR classes. But nothing could prepare him for what happened in the classroom.

Michael Namey, an 18-year-old engineering major from Jacksonville, who started at UCF this summer, had a seizure in class, according to university officials. Students scattered, searching for help. That's when Orozco stepped in and put years of training to the test. Despite all his efforts, Namey died.

Hours later, Orozco wrote a heartfelt open letter on Facebook to Namey's family saying, "I am sorry I failed you."

"I replay the moments in my head all the time," he told News 6 Reporter Shaun Chaiyabhat.

At the time, students ran for help but did not know where to find the AED located on the second floor. That frenzied search sparked a petition on Change.org for more AEDs on campus.

"If there would have been signs, it could have been found faster," Orozco said. "Would it have made a difference? I don't know."

Namey's family thanked the first responders and told News 6, "We appreciate all of the actions that they took, and it brings a sense of closure in knowing that they were all so willing to help."

"We need awareness for CPR, how to use an AED machine, how to respond in a situation like that, because every second matters," Orozco said. "I am determined to keep my promise to make Michael's death meaningful."

Staff from UCF Counseling and Psychological Services and Victim Services met with students in the class Monday, were available to students Tuesday, and spoke with the pre-calculus class when it met again Wednesday.

"Our condolences go out to Michael's family and friends," said UCF President John C. Hitt. "The unexpected loss of someone so young is truly heartbreaking. We thank the students in the classroom who so bravely came to the aid of a fellow Knight, and we also keep them in our thoughts."

Although police do not consider the death suspicious, the incident remains under active investigation pending follow up from the medical examiner.

The university has not yet issued a statement regarding that petition for more AEDs on campus, but because of what happened it is now offering free CPR classes on Sept. 30, Oct. 8 and Oct. 13. at the Recreation and Wellness Center. Click here for additional information.