MANSFIELD, Texas (CBS11) – While football players conditioned outside Monday, and basketball players ran drills inside, Jeffrey Cotton could only sit and watch. But after the way he left Danny Jones Middle School in Mansfield just 10 days ago, he was glad to be back there at all.
“He was more on his stomach, kinda more curled up,” said football coach David Sawyer. “His arms were more seized up a little bit, so it was definitely different.”
Sawyer described what his star running back looked like January 19, during a relaxed, Friday workout on the field.
The boys were playing 7 on 7 football. Kids thought Cotton had just slipped when he went to the ground. But he wasn’t breathing, his heart wasn’t beating and the training students and coaches do every season, kicked in.
“I was on the phone with 911, Coach Varcardipone is who ran inside,” Sawyer said. “Coach King was at basketball practice, so he grabbed the AED that was in there, raced out to the field and we went from there.”
While coached performed CPR and used the school defibrillator to try to restart Cotton’s heart, students opened gates to direct in paramedics. When they arrived, the 13-year-old had a pulse.
“I was surprised that happened to me, that my heart just stopped like that,” Cotton said at school Monday.
He knew he had an enlarged heart, but it never gave him a problem until that day. Doctors implanted a defibrillator in his chest, and whenever he’s at school, he’s knows he has an entire team behind him.
“I was grateful that they helped save my life,” he said.
Cotton can’t do much running for six weeks, so track is out and no more contact sports. He’s thinking golf might be his next sport.
For information on classes available to learn how to do CPR or use an AED, click here.