Trainer, coach save Colonia High School student’s life during basketball game

An athletic trainer and high school basketball coach are being credited with saving the life of a Colonia High School student athlete after he collapsed

Two Edison High School faculty members saved the life of a Colonia High School student who collapsed during a basketball game.

Two Edison High School faculty members saved the life of a Colonia High School student who collapsed during a basketball game. (1/6/16)

EDISON - An athletic trainer and high school basketball coach are being credited with saving the life of a Colonia High School student athlete after he collapsed on the basketball court.

Tim Root and Mark Blevins said that the Edison High School freshman game against Colonia was just like any other game. However, in the second quarter, a Colonia player collapsed on the court and the two men sprang into action.

“In that instance, in a sense I became tunnel visioned (sic) and tried to aid the student athlete,” said Edison High School athletic trainer Tim Root.

Root helped lay the teen down on the court while Coach Blevins ran to get the defibrillator, or AED.

“It said it was going to shock him and then it did and then he slowly started to come back to life,” said Blevins.

New Jersey has “Janet’s Law” which requires AEDs in all schools near athletic facilities. It is named for Janet Zilinski, an 11-year-old who died of sudden cardiac arrest while at cheerleading practice in 2006.

Root said that the having the law in place created a mindset to recognize sudden cardiac arrest and that an AED is needed. 

“The adrenaline's going you're going through, the procedure it, was a great team effort,” he said.

Blevins agreed. “It's a weight off your chest, but you still have the apprehension of the unknown.”

Colonia's athletic director did not identify the player involved in the save due to privacy reasons, but said that he was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and is resting comfortably.

This is the first time that Root and Blevins used an AED in a real situation.

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