A freshman football player, who had no prior issues, suffered a cardiac arrest and collapses during practice on Wednesday at Benedictine Military School in Savannah, Georgia.
Head athletic trainer Jack Holland said the freshman, who was not named by the school in accordance with HIPAA regulations, was unable to breathe on his own for 38 minutes and was shocked three times by an automatic external defibrillator (AED) in an effort to revive him, Savannah Now reported.
According to Benedictine’s head coach, Danny Britt, the athlete is in the intensive care unit of a local hospital and has begun responding to voice commands. Doctors said his brain and all his organs seemed to be fine.
Savannah Now reported:
Benedictine trainers Brian Tuten and Ed Livingston performed CPR until an ambulance arrived and used the AED machine. Their quick reactions were critical, both Holland and Britt said.
“They were right there immediately, thank God, to do their work, and they legitimately saved his life,” Britt said. “They did CPR until the EMTs got there and kept him alive.”
Britt said the player was on the sideline during a break in practice when he went down. Teammates called for the trainers right away — and everything seemed to stop, except for the work that Tuten and Livingston did.
“Everything just stopped, but Brian and Ed were so professional — they did an amazing job,” said Britt, who rode in the ambulance with the player to the hospital.
“The kids were obviously shaken. We cleared the way for the ambulance to get on the field and then got the rest of the team in the locker room,” Britt said. “The doctors said his brain and all his organs seem to be fine, and we have to thank Brian (Tuten) and Ed (Livingston) for that.”
“He never had any prior issues with anything like this,” Holland said Thursday. “It came completely out of the blue, and we have no clue what caused it. We were following the ambulance to the hospital and thought this whole thing could have turned another way. He’s not out of the woods yet, but he’s much more stable today.