Maxwell Anderson was stationed in his usual spot in the corner of the Stepinac gym on Friday afternoon, watching the second half of the freshman game when the school’s Athletic Trainer witnessed a Mount St. Michael player crash to the floor.
Immediately, Anderson raced onto the court.
“I could see him rolling on the ground, holding the back of his head,” Anderson said. “I rolled him over and he was responsive and talking.”
Moments later, the player’s eyes closed and he stopped breathing.
“He became unresponsive,” said Anderson, who works for Professional Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy in Mamaroneck. “He started breathing. And then he stopped again. I began to give him rescue breaths.”
Before a silent, stunned Stepinac gym, Anderson began administering CPR. Within moments, the player was revived. Anderson had saved his life.
According to Mount St. Michael varsity coach Tom Fraher, the player was stabilized in the ambulance and is expected to make a full recovery.
“My legs were shaking afterwards,” said Anderson, a Croton-Harmon High School and Marist College graduate. “When you’re in the moment, you only concerned is to get him breathing again. You have to stay calm.”
The reward for Anderson was being back in the corner of the Stepinac gym for the junior varsity and varsity contests for the rest of the night.
“He is worth every single penny we pay him,” Stepinac varsity coach Pat Massaroni said. “Every school is crazy if they don’t have an Athletic Trainer for their events. Tonight you saw why.”
Had Anderson or any Athletic Trainer not been in attendance on Friday, the athlete could have died or perhaps been paralyzed.
“There’s a chance that could have been a lot worse in an Athletic Trainer wasn’t present,” Anderson said.
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