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By Tracy Clemons

EUREKA, Mo. (KSDK) - Teacher Appreciation Week took a very emotional turn at Eureka High School Wednesday. A student who collapsed and almost died during his PE class a little more than a week ago made a surprise appearance to thank the teachers who saved his life.

Senior Ethan Brock was in playing softball with classmates when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

"According to my coaches and all the people who witnessed, I had already hit the ball, made a couple of plays," said Ethan.

"I saw Ethan in the outfield and he had fallen and was on his back," said teacher and coach Jason Conley. "So I immediately sprinted out to him."

Conley called 911 as he was running. Other coaches came down and they all performed CPR and sent for the defibrillator.

"We knew that was available at our school if we needed it. We finally came to a conclusion that if his heart wasn't working that would definitely help us out and hopefully help restart his heart if it had in fact stopped beating," he said.

Ethan was in the hospital for nine days.

"I didn't know if he was going to be alive. It was very surreal," said his mom Jennifer Jennings.

Even if he did wake up, his family wasn't sure if he'd be the Ethan they knew.

"We didn't know if he would recognize any of us. I couldn't even say anything because the first thing he said was 'mom' so it was just tears. He knew me," she said.

He had a defibrillator put in Tuesday, and Wednesday, he surprised the teachers who saved him at an afternoon staff meeting.

"I came straight from the hospital," Ethan said.

"I knew he was getting out of the hospital and I'd seen him a couple of times," said Conley. "But to have him show up with his parents, that was pretty emotional."

"I'm out of tears. There are no words. What do you say to somebody that...without them, he wouldn't be here," said Jennifer.

"I am so thankful for the coaches, all the first responders. I just felt the need to thank them one more time before I graduate," said Ethan.

The school has two AEDs. Conley tells us the training is optional for most teachers, but mandatory for coaches.