An umpire had just collapsed from an apparent heart attack during a high school game Friday night. A 16 year old player reacted quickly, confidently, skillfully, and helped save the ump's life.
CONYERS, Ga. -- Some of us go through our whole lives and never find out whether we'd come through in the clutch.
At 16, Rockdale County High School JV First Baseman Alex Norwood just found out -- when it's the bottom of the 9th with two outs and and you're at bat to win the game -- he found out what he would do.
And we're not just talking baseball.
We're talking real life.
At Friday night's game, "The ump just collapsed."
Alex and everyone else at Friday night's JV game between Rockdale County and Newton County High Schools watched as the home plate umpire suddenly fell to the plate, right after the second inning.
"He spun around like he'd gotten hit, and he just collapsed."
An apparent heart attack.
Rockdale's coach, Jerrid Harris, ran to home plate.
"As we're tearing off his shirt and getting his chest protector off, that's when I asked, 'Who all knows CPR?' And the voice behind me was confident, quick, and said, 'I know how to do CPR, I'm ready to go.' And I turned around and I saw Alex. He got in there and started chest compressions immediately."
Alex Norwood had only learned CPR two weeks earlier, in order to earn his lifeguard certification.
"And I checked for a pulse and he didn't have anything," Alex said, "so I started doing compressions. And I only did the first set of 30 compressions before the EMT got there, so I really don't feel like I did that much."
Two adults in the stands, one of them an off-duty EMT, took their turns administering CPR to Reagin, as well. And when the ambulance arrived, Reagin was alive.
He is still in the hospital, and the team just learned he's improving.
Coach Harris told 11Alive News during Monday afternoon's practice that he has always tried to teach his players how important it is to be ready to make the play when it comes your way.
"You're given [and learn] skills, whether it's baseball skills or life skills, and when it's time to step into the batter's box -- and you hope you don't ever have to in a situation like [what happened Friday night] -- but when it's time to step in the batter's box, you go to swing."
Alex Norwood came through in the clutch.
Alex described how he learned to interlock his hands and press down on the sternum, moving the sternum about two inches down, and then releasing, then doing it again -- 30 times a round. There is no more mouth-to-mouth. It's 30 chest compressions right on the sternum. Alex said he learned how to pace the compressions in order to do them at a pace of 100 beats a minute -- just do it to the beat of the song "Stayin' Alive."
"When I was taking the class, I didn't really think about it, I mean, I've had friends that have life-guarded before and they've never had to use it, ever. So I just thought, you know, it was something I had to do to get the certification. But Friday night showed that it really is important to know how to do it, because I mean, I don't know how much I did, but I mean, it could have helped" revive the umpire.