'Heroic effort' from nurse revives girl at Kauffman Stadium

05/24/2013 4:30 PM

05/24/2013 7:19 PM

The camera focused on another fan moving to the “Dance Cam” in the bottom of the first inning of the Royals’ home game Thursday against the Angels.

But the fan, a 14-year-old girl sitting in Section 430, collapsed just after she was shown on Kauffman Stadium’s video board.

Nearby was a member of the Royals K-Crew, a group of team employees who entertain fans by tossing out T-shirts and prizes. But she wasn’t just any team employee. She’s also a registered nurse who works at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

According to Toby Cook, the Royals’ vice president for community affairs, the nurse arrived moments after the collapse, provided CPR and helped revive the girl as the stadium’s medical personnel arrived.

The girl was taken to Children’s Mercy, which has not released her name or condition. The Royals didn’t disclose the name of the nurse, Sam Sapenaro, 26, of Roeland Park, but Cook called her actions “heroic.”

Sapenaro didn’t want to comment when contacted by The Star.

“To say that it was fortunate that this young woman from the K-Crew was a registered nurse is an understatement,” Cook said. “She was there, she knew what to do.

“It was a heroic effort on her part to be able to respond that way and have her medical training kick in, going from entertaining fans one second to providing potential life-saving care to somebody the next.”

Cook said the girl attended the game with friends, and that her parents were contacted immediately. She was “breathing, verbal and awake,” upon leaving the stadium, Cook said.

Working on the K-Crew is often a second job, Cook said. In this instance, a fan was fortunate that nursing was Sapenaro’s other job.

“She went from K-Crew to nurse mode and stayed that way right up until the point that we transported the patient,” Cook said.

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