Three parents, head coach Scott Foppe, Mike Dantuono, and Sarah Kasper have two things in common: a baseball team of 13-year-old boys in Ballwin, and their CPR training.
But none of the three had ever used their life-saving training before Sunday at a 24 team tournament in Westfield, Indiana.
“I got my license back in November, for my work, but also I coach youth baseball. I think every coach should have a license in CPR,” said Foppe.
Foppe said in the third inning, one of his players tried to steal second base.
“My guy takes off running,” said Foppe. “Next thing you know, you hear this thud and it was a ball hitting a kid.”
The Indiana boy, playing second base, didn’t see his catcher’s throw.
“The way the boy fell, he collapsed,” said Dantuono. “He didn’t brace himself when he fell.”
Kasper was sitting in the outfield seats, before running onto the field to help the boy.
“He was turning gray. You could just tell there was no life in this little boy,” said Kasper. “That’s when I started the breathing and lifted his chin as we were taught.”
The concession stands at the baseball complex were equipped with automated external defibrillators, AED’s.
“I recalled seeing an AED sign on the concession stand behind the field,” said Dantuono. “Ran over to get that.”
Foppe and Kasper continued CPR until Dantuono brought the AED.
“I don’t know where our other parent came from, but he brought the AED,” said Kasper.
“They shocked him and they got him back,” said Foppe. “He was probably minutes without a heartbeat maybe, but it seemed like forever.”
“Sarah was talking in his ear, trying to get him to squeeze her hand,” said Foppe.
“’Squeeze my hand, squeeze my hand,’” said Kasper, “and he faintly squeezed my hand and then more people arrived to help support us.”
In baseball, not all saves are created equally. The lessons learned on a little league diamond extended far beyond baseball.
“We pulled together as a team because it was not one individual that was a hero. It was a team effort,” said Foppe. “What we did as parents and coaches was a team effort.”
KSDK also reached out to the father of the injured teen:
"He is doing better today. He is in the ICU recovering. Many thanks to the parents and kids from St. Louis They were fantastic!"