August/September 2021 - 22

In The Field
" He Saved My Life "
ATCs Acting Fast in the Field
By Brendan Kurie
Contributing Writer
W
..hen Morgan Krout was starting her new job
..as an assistant athletic trainer, one of her
..advisors at Catawba College pulled her aside
for a query: " What are you going to do when you have to
hook an athlete up to an AED and do CPR? "
She looked back at him.
" I hope I never have to. "
Less than four years later, she found herself staring
down at the cross country runner draped motionless in
her arms, realizing, " I'm going to have to do CPR and put
an AED on a 17-year-old child. "
It's every athletic trainer's worst nightmare - far worse
than the nastiest compound fracture - searching for a
pulse and not finding one.
In 2018, Ashley Labrador found herself in that perilous
position when a fan collapsed in the stands at Brian
McMahon High School in Connecticut. Her story had a
joyful outcome, and thanks to her continued efforts in the
field she was named the 2021 Most Valuable High School
Athletic Trainer of the Year by Training & Conditioning.
Here are two more examples where quick-thinking
and fast-acting high school athletic trainers meant the
difference between life and death.
DAVID SILVERSTEIN
David Silverstein knows his story could have a
different ending.
A licensed athletic trainer for 11 years, he had recently
started volunteering to work at Shaw High School
football games in East Cleveland.
" I knew they didn't have anybody, " he said.
In December, Shaw's athletic director asked if Silverstein
could start working basketball games. He agreed.
Six-foot-1 senior wing Zaharius Hillmon was the
first athlete he met. A couple of weeks later, on Jan.
12, Hillmon ended the first half of a game against Villa
Angela-St. Joseph (VASJ) High School with a dunk, then
made his way toward the locker room.
" It was a great game, " Hillmon said. " I was doing my thing. "
He remembers walking through the doors into the
locker room. His next memory is of waking up in a
hospital room three days later.
Silverstein will never forget what happened in between.
When he arrived in the locker room, he saw two players
cradling Hillmon's head. His eyes were rolled back and
he was laboring with agonal (involuntary) breathing.
22 | Training & Conditioning | August/September 2021
Silverstein checked Hillmon's ABCs (Airway, Breathing,
Circulation), then took a moment to gather himself.
" I counted down from five and cleared any doubt,
anxiety, and fear out of my head, " he said.
He started chest compressions and sent a student to
fetch an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). After
about five minutes, paramedics arrived and were able to
restore Hillmon's pulse and breathing.
" I'm incredibly thankful, " Hillmon said. " He wasn't even
there that long and the fact that he saved my life in that
short amount of time knowing me is amazing. "
Hillmon, who hopes to walk-on at Georgia Southern,
underwent open-heart surgery in February.
Silverstein, meanwhile, was connected with AT Cares,
a peer-to-peer network that helps athletic trainers deal
with the aftermath of traumatic incidents. He said that
was a valuable outlet, but nothing compared to running
into Hillmon at a game later in the season.
" He saved my life, so I felt like I owed him something, "
Hillmon noted. " All I had was a hug at that moment. "
" It makes everything worth it when he gave me a big
hug and told me how grateful he was for saving his life, "
Silverstein said.
FRANK SANCHEZ AND MORGAN KROUT
" The story starts like any other story, " Frank Sanchez
begins. " It's just like any other day. "

August/September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August/September 2021

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