Staying alive: Bus drivers, instructors perform CPR and save Edwin Winter's life

Katelyn Waltemyer
Jackson Newspapers
Edwin Winter (left) shared with the Board of Education how his recovery is going at the Nov. 18 meeting.

RIPLEY – Edwin Winter was one step away from becoming a substitute bus driver when everything went black. His heart stopped beating in the middle of the bus garage.

His heart didn't beat for about two minutes. Instructors were performing CPR, 911 was called. 

As Winter was loaded into the ambulance and sent to Jackson General Hospital, he was breathing again. He took a look around the vehicle and had no idea what had happened. It wasn't until two days later that he learned that the people in his class performed CPR and potentially saved his life. 

"I'll be ever the grateful for these people right here that saved my life," Winter said. "I'm very, very fortunate to be where I was at."

Winter said he can't help but think what would have happened if he was home alone or out in his barn by himself when the blockage stopped his heart. He probably wouldn't be here today. 

The Board of Education conference room was filled with Winter and the bus drivers who helped him on Oct. 25. The room erupted with applause after Rich Casto, transportation director for Jackson County Schools, shared what happened. 

"Through all of the chaos and the training that we have I seen sparks, little tiny sparks, of the training coming out in each and every person represented today and I fully believe that's why Mr. Winter's here with us," Casto said. 

Winter now has two stints and a defibrillator in his chest. Because of that, he can no longer become a bus driver, but he said he's happy to still be around. 

Instead of driving buses, Winter plans on spending most of his time on his farm with his cattle and horses. 

He's still recovering, but he's itching to get some of his freedom back like driving his car. 

— Katelyn Waltemyer (she/her) is the General Assignment and Enterprise Reporter for Jackson Newspapers in Jackson County, West Virginia. Have a news tip on local government or education? Or a good feature? You can reach Katelyn at kwaltemyer@jacksonnewspapers.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kate_Waltemyer.