Michael Namey was a freshman, studying at the University of Central Florida. He was 18 years old and had a promising future. But suddenly, during his pre-calculus college class, he suffered a seizure, believed to be a result of a major heart attack.
Manny Ballestas, another UCF student and trained first responder, happened to be sitting in the same class. The EMT immediately went to Namey's side, where he began preforming CPR. He continued to do so until the emergency crew arrived and took over.
But sadly, the 18-year-old did not survive, despite the immense efforts made to save his life.
The day after Namey's death, Ballestas wrote a powerful, extremely emotional open letter to his late classmate on his Facebook page.
The heartbreaking note begins with Ballestas lamenting over not being able to save his classmate's life:
Yesterday at around 11:55am, a UCF student collapsed in his class due to what is now believed to have been a massive heart attack. As a first responder, I was his fighting chance. I did everything I was ever trained to do but I was unsuccessful. The image of his face as I gave him his last breaths and pumped his chest will never leave me. Michael (I believe his name was), wherever you are now, please know that I am so sorry to you man. I am sorry I failed you. I'm sorry you lost your life so soon. I did not know you and I will never get that chance but I have no doubt in my mind that you were a remarkable human being on your path to becoming an extraordinary adult.
Ballestas went on to give his condolences to Namey's loved ones and wish the late teenager peace.
With nearly 1,000 likes and almost 300 shares on Facebook, the teen, who is studying pre-law, had a very specific reason for making his personal letter public. He wants everyone to know he is not "writing this to receive any sort of sympathy," but actually in the hopes that the tragedy will educate others. He made this powerful promise:
I will work everyday, as a student of UCF, an individual of society, and hopefully one day as a politician, to assure that what happened to your son can be prevented in schools nationwide. Whether it be by spreading the importance of knowing CPR, adding more AED machines to schools, I will make his life meaningful somehow, someway. [...] I plea to everyone out there, please go and familiarize yourselves with the basics of CPR/AED.
He concludes the letter by asking everyone to share the post in the hope that people will see how important it is to be CPR certified. He also hopes that his message will eventually reach Namey's family.
"Every single second counts, trust me. It could mean the difference between life and death.. I only wish I would have gotten to him a couple of minutes sooner," he wrote.
According to , the University of Central Florida is now waving fees for first aid classes, in an attempt to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again on the school's campus.
Our thoughts go out to Namey's family and friends.