High School Coach & Trainer Save New York Hoop Player’s Life
Being a high school coach is not easy these days. In most cases, you are certainly not doing it for the money. In addition, you have the responsibility for the "health and well-being" of your student-athletes. That means knowing and understanding the implementation of First Aid. Looking for the signs of someone in trouble; performing CPR properly and operating an AED machine, can be the difference between heroics and tragedy. An assistant high school basketball coach and an athletic trainer found out the hard way that they were ready for anything.
Last week, in Mineola, New York, at a practice for the Chaminade High School basketball team, Flyers' senior PJ Kellachan collapsed and had suffered an apparent seizure. What the Chaminade assistant coach Bob Paul and athletic trainer Jorge Vargas did next, saved the 6-8 high school basketball star's life. According to Roger Rubin of newsday.com, Paul and Vargas performed CPR and used an automated external defibrillator (AED) prior to paramedics arriving on the scene.
Assistant Coach Bob Paul performed an important first step in effective first aid. He immediately identified an emergency. Paul told newsday.com, “I’ve seen students have a seizure in classes I’ve taught and the way he went to one knee and then landed, I knew that’s what it was. Then it became a very serious situation.”
A second major identification was done by the athletic trainer. Jorge Vargas told newsday.com, “you could see his skin color change and there was no pulse.” After the AED was activated and used properly, Vargas and Paul began administering CPR. “We’d done about six cycles and I started to feel a pulse,” Paul said to Rubin. Because Bob Paul and Jorge Vargas take their responsibilities seriously, PJ Kellachan is alive today. Not enough can be said about preparing for the worst and taking that preparation seriously. Student-athletes and parents count on it from our coaches. Well done by Chaminade High School preparing their coaches for the benefit of their student-athletes.