Teen basketball player revived after heart stops


A teenage basketball player survived an apparent heart attack Saturday, collapsing just after halftime during a game at the Tice Valley Community Gym in Walnut Creek.

Coach John Wackowski said:

“He turned around, ran to about half court, turned backwards and then slowly collapsed.”

Several individuals reportedly came forward to render aid including a nurse and a retired firefighter.

After determining that the 14-year-old athlete had no pulse, however, the good Samaritans asked the gym staff for an automated external defibrillator that later proved to be effective, Wackowski said.

The boy was transported to a hospital for further treatment. Wackowski said he has not seen the victim since the incident occurred, but he has been in contact with the victim’s family:

“They’re obviously very distraught about the whole situation, but I think they’re optimistic and thankful.”

Wes Allnutt is a program manager for the City of Walnut Creek, which operates the Tice Valley Community Gym. He wasn’t present for the incident, but came in a few hours later to check on the gym’s employees and investigate some of the details:

“Someone that teaches CPR was there, a nurse was there and a retired firefighter stepped in when the nurse got tired. … It all lined up. There were a lot of angels on hand that day to help that youngster out.”

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