Local heroes tell the story of saving a teen after he collapsed during a basketball game

Local heroes speak after saving player who collapsed

Local heroes speak after saving player who collapsed

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A 15-year-old boy collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during a basketball game in Rochester Wednesday night. It happened during a junior varsity basketball game at School 33 on Webster Avenue.

District officials tell News10NBC the teen, a student at Monroe High School, is in stable condition at the hospital Thursday afternoon. 

News10NBC’s Bekka Fifield spoke with the two men who saved his life.

Jushawn Rucker and Dave DiPasquale say they were just doing their jobs, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from calling them heroes.

Jushawn, a school safety officer, and Dave, an athletic trainer, saw the 15-year-old collapse in the middle of the game and jumped right into action.

“Then he grabbed his wrist and I did a carotid artery and we found that there was no pulse. So immediately, Rucker called for the AED. Somebody grabbed it immediately and we started, I started CPR. He started putting the pads on and we shocked him.”

The two men said there was a lot going on in their minds when this happened, but it was important for them to act.

“Acting, getting there, controlling in the situation, doing everything you can to save, you know, this kid or anybody’s life. So I couldn’t ask for a better, you know, partner with me. We were, like, working together perfectly. He knew what I was going to do next. I knew he was going to do next. And we were working together well and we did everything we could. And essentially, it paid off,” says Jushawn.

This happened just a few weeks after Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation requiring camps and youth sports programs to have an AED, and at least one person trained to properly use it.

The New York State health commissioner says if you can be trained in CPR, you should be.

“911 comes. It’s a happy ending to the story. But if no one’s there, tragedy can occur. And if no one’s ever trained, you can have a tragic outcome. I think that’s why it’s important to have the tools to succeed and the ability and that comes from taking a CPR course. And by the way, a lot of people make New Year’s resolutions, you know, that would be nice,” says NYS Health Commissioner Dr. Jim McDonald.

The teen is still in the hospital undergoing more tests, but he is in stable condition.

He was actually able to call Jushawn from the hospital the night of the incident to let him know he was okay and to thank him.