LANDOVER HILLS – A 17-year-old basketball player who plays with an Under Armour team who collapsed during a scrimmage at Gwyn Park High School finally met the individuals who saved his life. On March 31, was running down the court when he collapsed after his heart stopped working. The first person that came to his […]
LANDOVER HILLS – A 17-year-old basketball player who plays with an Under Armour team who collapsed during a scrimmage at Gwyn Park High School finally met the individuals who saved his life.
On March 31, was running down the court when he collapsed after his heart stopped working. The first person that came to his aid was his father, Jermaine Johnson, who quickly started CPR on his son. Seconds later, Paul Beasley, a Fairfax County firefighter/medic, also came to help.
As the two were performing CPR, Gwynn Park Athletic Director Linda Henson-Hubb ran and grabbed a nearby automated external defibrillator (AED), which every school and county government building has.
“I was tired from the scrimmaging we were doing, so I had my hands on my knees and I was looking down at the other side,” Johnson recalled. “And as the coach was, you know, he was coaching, I was like, ‘man, can we please stop. We’ve running up and down for a long time.’ And that was the last thing I remember.”
A county fire department medic station at the Brandywine Fire Department across the street from the school transported Johnson to the hospital. While he was being transported, Johnson became conscious and told firefighter/medic Matt Garbow he wanted to go back to the basketball game.
“He tried to get off the stretcher,” Garbow said. “He was trying unbuckle himself and everything.”
Johnson has been recovering since his March 31 incident and has given up his dreams to play basketball for the time being. He can not take part in any strenuous physical activity though he had seven basketball scholarship offers waiting for him.
Johnson’s mother, Kenya, and his grandmother thanked Prince George’s County Fire Department’s Fire Chief Marc Bashoor and everyone who came to help her son that day. She also said her son’s incident was a “100 percent success story.” She would also like to see more AED’s in more public places.
Meanwhile, Johnson thinks he may now have a future in the medical field.
“I think I want to major in radiology,” Johnson said. “Become an x-ray technician and then, one day hopefully, create a foundation to create awareness for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.”
Johnson and his mother are planning to educate others about his heart condition and how important it is to have AED’s in public places stores, shopping centers and other places. Bashoor said this summer the department will use and promote the Pulse Point app, which is now being used in Howard County.
The smart phone app will help first responders and any Good Samaritans locate the closest AED and will providedetailed instructions and photos in order to help find the device in an unknown location at a moment’s notice.
“The AED is ultimately what delivered that shock to regenerate his heart. Without that shock, we may not have been having this story today,” Bashoor said.