NBC 4 New York
A boy who was nearly killed by a baseball strike to the chest during a game in New Jersey speaks about his ordeal. Jen Maxfield reports.
An 8-year-old New Jersey boy who was hit in the chest by a baseball during a third base steal attempt is recovering and can return to the field in two weeks.
Ian McGreevy was struck Saturday as the catcher on the opposing team tried to throw him out.
"I was stealing third base and when I slid, it hit me in the heart," he said.
He got up after he was hit, but quickly fell back to the ground. A mom who was watching her son play on the other team, the aptly named Harrington Park Angels, ran over to help.
"I just saw this beautiful child on the ground, his eyes were wide open, his lips were turning a little blue," Maureen Renaghan told The Record . "I put my hand on his chest, and I didn't feel anything."
Renaghan began performing CPR on McGreevy, and by the fourth time she blew air into his mouth, she felt a heartbeat, she told The Record. He choked, turned over and threw up, she said.
He didn't remember what happened, but he did recall his name and where he lived, Renaghan said.
When paramedics arrived, the boy was fully conscious.
The Yankees fan told NBC 4 New York on Monday that he wished he could return to playing immediately, but his mom and doctors say he has to wait two weeks.
Police Chief Albert Maalouf told The Record McGreevy had appeared to have gone into cardiac arrest, and authorities were told he had stopped breathing for up to a minute.
"You hear about people talk about heroics, and I try not to overuse that word, but in this case, I think it applies," Maalouf told the paper. "For her to act fast, while others were in shock, she made a quick assessment and potentially saved this child's life."
Renaghan told the paper she learned CPR about 20 years ago while she was training to be a camp counselor. "I was just so glad I could help," she said.
"It was overwhelming," said the boy's mother, Lisa McGreevy. "You never think it's going to happen to your kids."
Lisa McGreevy said her son will wear a protective shirt, also known as a heart guard, under his jersey for future games. The $50-$100 shirts are not required equipment for most youth baseball teams.
"These are little kids, they are playing an adult game," she said.
Ian will be returning to school Tuesday, and he has a simple message for the mom who gave him CPR.
"Thank you for saving my life," he said.
--Jen Maxfield contributed to this story