A New Jersey town is honoring a teen who stepped up in a friend's moment of crisis to save his life — performing CPR after he collapsed on a basketball court, and reviving him before the paramedics arrived.
Ty'shawn James was with his friend at the court outside Chester Elementary School in March, when his friend suddenly went down. As they later learned, the friend has congenital heart disease and was in cardiac arrest, needing to be resuscitated as quickly as possible.
Ty'shawn called 911 and told dispatcher Stewart Matthew the urgent situation. Matthew then instructed the 14-year-old on what to do next.
"Listen carefully, OK? Lay him flat on his back on the ground and remove anything from under his head. Do it now, tell me when it's done," Matthew is heard on the 911 recording, and eventually starts teaching Ty'shawn how to perform CPR. "I'm gonna count out loud with you, you're gonna go up to three, OK?"
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Learning on the fly in the most stressful of conditions, Ty'shawn was able do exactly as needed to keep his friend alive.
"I was like, his life is on the line, if I miss a heart beat, if I miss one pump, he could potentially die," he said.
Finally, Ty'shawn noticed his friend start to breathe a little easier. Once they got there, EMTs rushed the friend to the hospital, and he is expected to make a full recovery.
For their heroic efforts, both Ty'shawn and Matthew received medals from the county for saving the boy's life. Matthew said that the teen handled himself perfectly in the face of a scary situation.
"For a child caller, that was superb. You couldn't have asked for a better caller," Matthew said.
"I feel good that he made it, at first I didn't think too much of it as a big deal," Ty'shawn said. "A lot of people I've never even talked to before are just telling me like, hey you're the neighborhood hero, you did this, you saved his life. It feels good."