Two Iowans and a teenager from the Omaha area will be recognized as “heroes” at halftime of Friday’s Iowa-Nebraska football game in Lincoln.
Staff and volunteers from the American Red Cross have selected Iowa State Trooper Tracy Bohlen of Waukee and Jane McCurdy of Ankeny as the award recipients from Iowa.
Kara Kelly, spokesperson for the Red Cross in Des Moines, says Bohlen helped save the life of Patrick Roark of Oklahoma on April 26. Roark started having a seizure while driving his truck on Interstate 35 north of Des Moines. Roark’s 15-year-old son, Eli, was somehow able to put the truck in park as Bohlen pulled up behind them.
“Trooper Bohlen ran up to the vehicle — this is all in the middle of I-35, not on the side of the road — and he pulled Mr. Roark out of the vehicle and realized he did not have a pulse. (Bohlen) performed CPR on him right in the middle of the interstate,” Kelly said.
Jane McCurdy, who happens to be a nurse, was driving by at the time and ran over to assist. McCurdy spent the entire day with Eli as his father was rushed to the hospital. “Jane McCurdy stayed with Eli, drove him to the hospital…made sure he ate, tried to keep him calm, and stayed with him until his mother arrived from Oklahoma,” Kelly said.
In addition to being introduced to the crowd at Memorial Stadium, Bohlen and McCurdy will have their names engraved on the Hy-Vee Heroes game trophy — presented to the winner of Friday’s game.
“Thankfully, Mr. Roark is fine. He has since recovered. He still communicates with both Jane and Tracy and he’s alive, thanks to both of them,” Kelly said.
The honoree from Nebraska is 18-year-old Kassee Jones. On June 15, Jones was working as a lifeguard at Camp Legacy in Omaha when she spotted a 6-year-old boy not moving at the bottom of the shallow end of the pool.
Liz Dorland is spokesperson for the Red Cross in Omaha. “She quickly put her Red Cross lifesaving skills to use, pulled him out of the water, and gave him resuscitation,” Dorland said. “The child was breathing again when paramedics arrived to take him to the hospital.” The boy survived and is doing well, according to Dorland. Jones is from Bennington, a suburb of Omaha.
Friday’s game between Nebraska and third-ranked and undefeated Iowa is scheduled to kickoff at 2:30 p.m.