LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — On May 2 at Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed several education bills into law.
As soon as Kemp signed it, Wilson was the first to hug him.
“What was going through my mind is that we did it. We got here. Nick dying was not in vain,” she said.
The newly signed law requires that student athletes learn about the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest.
“Well, it actually affects middle school to high school (students). It states that if they are at the parks or at the school or if they are in any type of sports, that they (coaches) have informational meetings on sudden cardiac arrest,” Wilson explained.
“If a coach sees any signs (of cardiac distress), that student has to leave the field and not come back until they have been cleared from a physician,” she said.
Wilson said she worked with lawmakers like Sen. P.K. Martin to get the bill passed.
The new law is named for Jeremy Nelson, a Buford Middle School student who died playing in a recreational league basketball game after collapsing on the court in 2013.
It is also named for her son, Nick Blakely, former Archer High Football player who also collapsed and died after a practice at Stetson University in Florida. He died of a sudden cardiac arrest.
Blakely was preparing for his first collegiate football game. The 19-year-old had dreams of playing in the NFL and working at the Federal Reserve.
“I would have loved to have told Nick that he couldn’t play anymore,” Wilson said.
Wilson has dedicated her life to spreading awareness.
The Nick Blakely Foundation offers free heart screenings for students as well as raising money for automated external defribrillators (AEDs) for Gwinnett County parks.
It has also donated AEDs.
“We have about 50 parks in Gwinnett County," Wilson said. "We have about 15 without AEDs. We supplied three last year and we plan to do two, at least, this year through the foundation. That’s next, to make sure the AEDs are there.”
Wilson said her dream is to work with NBA hall of famer Shaquille O’Neal, whose son Shareef was sidelined last year at UCLA because of a heart ailment.
Click here if you are interested in learning more about the Nick Blakely Foundation.
MORE HEADLINES |