College Hockey Team Trainer in New York Honored After Saving Player’s Life
To be an athletic trainer, especially for a hockey team, you have to be able to think quickly under pressure.
If a player exits a game or practice with an injury, it's up to the trainer to make a split-second diagnosis, and determine if immediate treatment is necessary. Of course, there are the run-of-the-mill bumps and bruises that must be handled, something that every athlete has dealt with at one time or another.
Then, there are the more serious situations, like the one faced by Eric Fuss this past weekend. Once it happened, Rachel Leahy had only seconds to react, and thankfully, that's exactly what she did.
Army West Point Hockey's Trainer, Rachel Leahy, Credited with Saving Life
A story penned in The New York Post detailed the incredible life-saving actions of Rachel Leahy, athletic trainer for the Army West Point Black Knights' men's hockey team.
The team was playing against Sacred Heart on Thursday, January 5th, when a scary scene unfolded. Junior forward Eric Fuss was caught with a skate blade in the neck, sustaining what was described to be a "severe laceration" to the area around the jawbone.
ESPN's John Buccigross detailed the incident on his Twitter account:
Despite the blade not hitting the artery directly, Huss was still bleeding profusely, at which time Rachel Leahy began treatment. She was described as immediately compressing the area, and not letting go until Huss reached the hospital, so that he did not bleed out.
Huss then underwent surgery immediately to repair the laceration, and the photo above was taken after the surgery, while he was recovering. Huss was described in the article as being a warrior, and was able to travel home the next day to continue recovery.
With the knowledge that the player is expected to make a full recovery, it has allowed the hockey community to turn its attention, and admiration, toward Rachel Leahy. She is being credited for possibly saving Eric Huss' life.
For her efforts, she was honored on Sunday ahead of Army's non-conference game against Providence:
She was also named the Player of the Week for Atlantic Hockey, the conference to which Army's men's program belongs. Here is the tweet from the hockey program, announcing the tremendous news:
Being an athletic trainer is not something you do for the glory, or for the fame, or for the attention. As a matter of fact, someone in the profession often benefits from the opposite happening. When you hear a trainer's name in the news, it's either for something amazing (like this), or something terrible.
Rachel Leahy didn't save Eric Huss' life for the adulation she's receiving today. She did it because it's her job, and she's clearly very gifted at it, and for that, she deserves every bit of credit she's getting, and a whole lot more.
Also, not for nothing, but Rachel is a Quinnipiac University alum:
Today is one heck of a day to be a Bobcat, I can tell you that.