Team uses CPR, AED to save assistant youth coach

SALTILLO – (AP) When an assistant youth baseball coach’s heart stopped during picture day for his 11-year-old grandson’s recreational team, a whole team of adults rallied around to save him.

Quick CPR and a defibrillator saved Charlie England’s life and brain, authorities told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

“Brain damage can start occurring after only two to three minutes,” said Dr. Karl Crossen, a cardiologist. “Had more time passed before he got help, his situation might be very different.”

England collapsed while the Mooreville Troopers were being photographed May 3 at the W.K. Webb Sportsplex in Saltillo.

“He was blue when he hit the ground,” said coach Ryan Lovvorn.

Pharmacist Shonda Willis and nurse Shonda Clayton, who have sons on the team, immediately started CPR. Parent Lisa Franks called 911. Lovvorn and assistant Tommy Sudduth, a Tupelo firefighter, took turns at CPR. So did nurses Heather Bowen, Greg Parham and Jimmy Little, who had been watching their children at neighboring fields.

“There’s no one hero here,” Sudduth said.

Susan Martin, a Saltillo High School teacher who was taking team photographs, ran to find an automated external defibrillator. Earlier that day, she said, she’d been a hall monitor during state tests. “I spent four hours staring at the AED on the wall,” she said. “I knew if we had one at school, they had to have one here.”

England said, “I woke up in the ambulance, and didn’t know where I was or what had happened.”

Lovvorn, Sudduth and the parents asked the team whether they wanted to play or leave.

“They decided they wanted to win one for Mr. Charlie,” Lovvorn said.

They did, then went to the North Mississippi Medical Center emergency room to check on England.

England spent a week in the hospital and now has an implanted defibrillator which can detect abnormal heart rhythms and shock the heart back to normal.

The day he was released, he was back at the ball fields.

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