On May 28th I was on the bench with Brian Pothier, helping him run lines for player evaluation. With about 7 minutes left on the clock, I noticed a player, who began to drift away from the play, while looking up at the ceiling. It was almost as if he was tracking a bird. I could see that the athlete was in distress and wasn't in control of what he was doing. He then collapsed face first on the ice. He did not brace himself for the fall whatsoever. I remember shouting “he’s out” and immediately rushed on to the ice to assess the situation.
Upon my arrival the player began to have a seizure. Having seen these before I rolled him on his side, keeping is head turned to the side. That’s when things took a drastic turn. I saw all color disappear from his face, he went gray and his eyes rolled back in his head. I removed his helmet and ran through a quick vital assessment. He wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse. I placed my hand under his shoulder pads to feel his chest for respiration and when there wasn’t any, I quickly found the correct spot to begin compressions. After approximately 8-10 compressions, the player began to regain color and life came back into his eyes. It was a chaotic situation, but we needed to remain calm to provide care.
None of this was a conscious decision on my part; it was a reactive response to someone in need. I am extremely grateful for my cpr/aed training and that I was able to deliver in that moment. Otherwise the outcome could have been very different. It is my goal to use this event as a platform for the importance of mandating all personnel, who work with athletes, to be required to be certified in cpr/aed.
The Boston Bandits are requiring all of our youth coaches to be cpr certified before the first game of the season. If you are interested in getting certified, the following website has a good Basic Live Saving (BLS) Course: