WHEELING - Morgan Stillwagon will remember Friday the 13th as the day a fellow American Legion Mountaineer Boys State citizen saved his life.
He was one of 350 high school juniors from across West Virginia who went to Jackson's Mill the week of June 8-14 to create a symbolic 51st state. During the week, attendees formed and operated a government by working in one of six career paths, including political, legal, newspaper, banking, law enforcement and national guard/homeland security.
Wheeling Central Catholic High School student Billy Teufel, of Wheeling, took the hypothetical position of a State Police colonel, but wound up in a real life or death situation.
Sharing a moment together at the American Legion Mountaineer Boys State are Morgan Stillwagon, left, and Billy Teufel. Teufel is credited for saving Stillwagon’s life during this year’s Boys State event in Jackson’s Mill.
Teufel's father, Larry, said his son and Stillwagon were staying in Lewis Cottage with other Boys State citizens. At 2:30 a.m., Teufel noticed something was very wrong. Stillwagon had gone into a seizure and his heart appeared to have stopped.
Without hesitating, Teufel ran from the cottage to the dining hall to retrieve an automated external defibrillator. Upon his return, he encountered members of a first aid team who administered two shocks to Stillwagon before his heart responded. Stillwagon was transported him to a local hospital for treatment. He returned to the camp the next day.
In recognition of his efforts, Teufel received the P.E. Kercheval Award, presented by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, for being a participant in the activities of Boys State who is courteous, congenial, has high moral standards and demonstrates leadership. He also received a Challenge Coin from Boys State Director Jim Davis in recognition for his act of heroism.
American Legion Mountaineer Boys State is held annually during the second full week of June with participants chosen by local American Legion posts and sponsored by businesses and individuals.
Wheeling's American Legion Post 1 Past Post Commander John Nanny, who has been Boys State Chairman for 42 years, said Teufel is among 28 juniors from Wheeling Park, Central Catholic and The Linsly School to attend this years camp.
"The students are nominated by their respective teachers and counselors," he said. "Then, I recommend them for acceptance to Boys State."
Ohio County Sheriff Pat Butler sponsored Teufel's attendance to the event. Cameron American Legion Post 18 sent Stillwagon.