In a letter sent to parents at Reagan High School, head basketball coach John Hirst described how he saved the life of a student on Tuesday.

In the letter, Coach Hirst recounts an incident from Tuesday morning in which he says a “junior on our varsity basketball team” collapsed, became unresponsive, and eventually stopped breathing.

Coach Hirst says that he and a trainer, Coach Martinez, responded by performing CPR and using an AED (automated external defibrillator) while waiting for first-responders to arrive.

He says that the student “responded quickly and positively” and was transported to North Central Baptist Hospital, which is right next to the school.

Here is the full letter that was sent to parents:

Dear Parents,

I am emailing you to inform you that we had a difficult situation today during our first period basketball class. A junior on our varsity basketball team collapsed while we were warming up. He quickly became unresponsive and shortly thereafter stopped breathing. Our trainer, Coach Martinez was with the student and I almost immediately, and performed CPR and used the AED, while waiting for EMS to arrive. He responded quickly and positively. He was then transported to the Baptist Hospital right behind Reagan.

The student is recovering nicely at this time – but has been placed in ICU for further observations/tests. I will send further information as it becomes available to me.

We just did not want any of you to worry and did not want any of you to wonder what was going on. We know that sometimes serious issues like this can have people speculate as to what may have happened, which can lead to confusion. We hope that this brief update gets all of us on the same page.

We will be meeting with all players right after school today to make sure they are caught up on what is going on. You should all know – the varsity players that were in the gym at the time of the situation – could not have handled themselves any better. We had guys do exactly what our protocols called for and they helped enormously this morning. We could not be more proud of how they conducted themselves.

We will be back in touch after we have had a chance to visit with the student’s mother and father this afternoon. In the meantime, we ask you consider to please keep their entire family in your thoughts and prayers.


Coach Hirst