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A Virginia community is hailing one its own as a hero after the teenager performed life-saving CPR on a teammate who suffered cardiac arrest during baseball practice.
Fox 5 D.C. reported that a baseball hit Steve Smith, of Manassas, in the chest on July 14.
“When I got to Steve, he was just unresponsive,” Steve’s father and coach, Tim Smith, told the news station. “His eyes rolled back in his head, and I couldn't wake him up. So I yelled, ‘Does anybody know CPR?’”
His teammate Paul Dow, who is a lifeguard, was the only one on the field who did.
“When I realized he had no pulse or heartbeat, that kind of scared me for a while because I knew he was dying,” Dow told Fox 5 D.C. “I felt terrible because I didn't know if he was going to be okay because he did die in my arms.”
As they waited for paramedics, Dow did compressions on his friend and leaned on his faith in God.
“There is no way in heck I did that by myself,” he told the news station.
When Steve finally woke up, his memory was washed clean of practice.
“One of the first things my dad said was, ‘Paul saved your life,’” Steve told Fox 5 D.C.
“He's (Paul) been here for me and we have been friends and everything,” he added, “but something like that is kind of hard where someone helps you that much.”
Tim echoed his son and likened the teen’s survival to a miracle.
“I was more helpless than I felt probably in my whole life,” he told Fox 5 D.C., “because here he is, he's dying and I can't help him. To have Paul there to step up, it was incredible. It was something that I'll never forget.”