Coach saves student's life with quick thinking and CPR training

KNOXVILLE, TN - (WMC-TV) –  A Tennessee teenager is recovering from a heart stopping situation. His family said the teen owes his life to some emergency medical equipment at the high school and a quick-thinking Knoxville coach.

Sports and portable electronics dominate the lives of teenagers like Hunter Helton. But Monday a portable electronic device saved his life at an East Tennessee high school gym.

"All I remember was like running and I had like heartburn in my chest and I don't remember anything after that," Hunter said.

"Coach Higgins he said Hunter was just running and he veered off and hit the floor," Hunter's father Ronnie Helton said. "There was no notice or nothing. I know Coach Higgins did CPR and it was through his training and that AED that saved Hunter's life."

The AED is an Automated External Defibrillator that shocks the heart back into a normal rhythm.

"He wouldn't be here today if he wasn't at the school and they didn't have a defibrillator and they didn't work so quickly," Hunter's mother Kelly Helton said.

"I'd just like to thank all the basketball players over there that helped me and all the coaches and medical staff," said Hunter.

"It could have been anybody's child and it could have been at any school and them not had one and so, thank God for them AEDs," Ronnie Helton said.

Hunter will soon visit Vanderbilt for more tests on his heart. After that, doctors will know if he can play sports again.

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