Monmouth Junction: Basketball Player Collapses, Teammates Jump Into Action

Source: ABC Eyewitness News

When a player suddenly collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during a men’s basketball game in South Brunswick High School Monmouth Junction New Jersey, his swift-acting teammates, which included a volunteer firefighter and athletic trainer, jumped in to help save his life.

“He (had) said he was feeling a bit off and it wasn’t just his knees this time,” teammate Raj Vora said. The team didn’t have enough players to take many turns resting.

“We’re 40-plus. We’re not spring chickens, so sometimes we want to sit and rest. Our buddy wanted to sit and that’s why we thought he was joking when he fell over, and it was not a joke.”

Video shows the player, identified only as 48-year-old Javier, collapse to the floor. “He fell over, we ran over right away, as we’re running over, we asked 911 to be called right away,” said teammate and volunteer fireman Cheng-Yu Lee. “His body was gasping for air, but there was no control of his body at all.”

South Brunswick High School has automated external defibrillator (AED) machines mounted in several areas. The video shows Vora run to one in the hall just feet away. The pads were on their friend less than a minute after he collapsed.

South Brunswick police officer Sean Nally arrived seconds later. “So the first thing that I did was I went and grabbed the oxygen, and as I was going to grab the oxygen I saw that he had completely stopped breathing, so then I went over and started to do compressions,” he says.

All that work helped keep Javier alive until EMTs arrived and took over, bringing him back from a life-threatening heart rhythm, or V-Fib (ventricular fibrillation).

Javier, who’s still recovering in the hospital, released a statement about his 40-plus teammates saying in part, that it’s because of them, Officer Nally and EMTS that he gets to continue his life and be a husband to his wife and father to his daughter.

The men say this incident highlights the need for everyone to know CPR. “I will be taking a class, I’ll tell you that much,” Vora said.

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