School Nurse Dies After Saving Coach's Life

By Jessica Greene
|  Thursday, Apr 30, 2009  |  Updated 9:26 AM PDT
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School Nurse Dies After Saving Coach's Life

Getty Images/David McNew

The cause of Eileen Bowden's death is not known yet.

Students and staff at Santa Clara High School are in shock after the school nurse died after saving the life of a stricken softball coach.

"I'm trying to make sense of it all," Santa Clara police officer Jake Malae told the Mercury News. "Here she was, trying to save a life, and then she lost hers. I'm sad for her family, but I'm glad her actions were able to save [the coach]."

The mysterious and tragic chain of events began Tuesday afternoon when Coach John Rahbar suddenly collapsed after retrieving errant balls around the softball field.

Students first spotted Coach Rahbar lying face up on the school's track and flagged Officer Malae, who was watching a friend's kid practice, the Mercury News reported.

Malae started CPR on the coach. Nurse Eileen Bowden, who had just gotten off work and was walking to the parking lot, rushed to his aid and joined the effort to save Rahbar's life.

After a few minutes paramedics arrived and took over, and Rahbar was taken to the Kaiser-Santa Clara hospital, where he is recovering.

But something went wrong moments later, and Bowden collapsed.

When she dropped, the nurse hit her head on the concrete and was bleeding and in and out of consciousness, Malae told the Mercury News.

Bowden died in the ambulance on the way to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. The cause of her death is still unknown.

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