WIBW: Osage Co. teen shares comeback from sudden cardiac arrest
By Melissa Brunner
Damar Hamlin’s collapse on the football field hit home for an Osage Co. teen and his family.
Chad Robert, now 16, collapsed during warmups for a high school football game Oct. 28, 2021. He doesn’t remember what happened.
“Last thing I remember was eating pulled pork before we got on the bus to go to the game,” he said.
His parents, Jennifer and Daniel, were on their way to the game in Holton when they got the type of call parents fear.
“(We were) admiring a rainbow out the window, taking pictures when all of a sudden my cell phone rings,” Jennifer said. “It was an assistant coach on the Santa Fe Trail football team saying we’ve got a medical emergency with your son and we need permission to treat him on the field.”
Chad, then a sophomore, fell to the ground, started seizing, then went into cardiac arrest. Coaches, first responders, and people in the stands jumped in to help.
“It kept progressing. They’re doing CPR, and then they’re shocking him with the AED,” Jennifer said.
The family followed the ambulance to Stormont Vail, where emergency medicine Dr. Lindsay Schwartz was on duty, and had a team waiting, including extra nurses, respiratory therapy and phlebotomists.
“I want to make sure I have all my support staff at bedside to do what I need to do,” she said.
Dr. Schwartz said that quick response - which started on the field - is vital to survival.
“If we don’t have our heart pumping blood then none of our organs can function and we don’t have any brain activity,” she said.
After two days at Stormont, Chad was transferred to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City for further evaluation. He woke up there two days later - four days after he collapsed.
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The Ward Family Heart Center at Children's Mercy Kansas City