SOMC Athletic Trainers and the Game They Won’t ForgetPosted on 03/09/2023
SOMC Athletic Trainers Leslie Mack and Amber Howell rode together to the Women’s Division IV District Semifinal Basketball Game at Southeastern High School against their respective teams, the Notre Dame Titans and the Valley Indians.
Little did they know that game would be a defining moment in their career and a game they will never forget.
This moment had no relation to the game.
After the Lady Titans secured a win over the Valley Indians, celebrations and interviews occurred as usual. Brock Netter of the Southern Ohio Sports Authority was interviewing Notre Dame’s coach JD Mckenzie.
Leslie, Notre Dame’s trainer, said she heard the coach begin to yell for her to come and help. She looked across the gymnasium to see Mckenzie holding Brock against the wall. Leslie jumped into action and raced across the floor.
She started asking Netter general health questions to try and gather a sense of what could be happening. He was a healthy guy in his early 30s. She recalled him saying he felt lightheaded, and his stomach was hurting. About that time, Amber returned to the court and saw her coaches motioning for her, and she ran to help.
As Amber arrived, Brock seemed to have a seizure and passed out. All around were able to help lower him to the ground.
“Instincts kicked in,” Leslie said. “We jumped into action, and we knew what to do.”
Amber immediately searched for a pulse on his neck. “Leslie, I don’t feel anything,” she recalled saying.
Leslie immediately began chest compressions. Another AT from OhioHealth jumped in and helped put the AED on him.
Amber checked for another pulse on his wrist. Nothing.
Leslie began the second set of chest compressions. The AED was in place, but thankfully he began responding before a shock was needed. The team continued to monitor him until the EMTs arrived to transport him to the hospital.
“Leslie had a huge hand in literally saving my life, as did everyone else who attended to me when I needed it,” Brock said. “She was the first person that (Notre Dame girls basketball coach J.D. McKenzie) called on, and she rushed right in as I was starting to fade, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I was surrounded by so many people who knew what to do and how to proceed in order to bring me back, and I’m so grateful to them.”
This was the first time in both Amber and Leslie’s careers that they had to administer CPR to someone, and it was someone that they helped revive.
Amber and Leslie left that game and attempted to reflect on what had just happened.
“Mentally, I just feel like you go into action and don’t even think about being scared,” Amber said.
“We teach (CPR) all the time, and you always say every time you teach a class, hopefully, you never have to do this, and most people won’t, but it’s always good for people to know,” Leslie said.
Brock said that he is doing great now. He spent two days in the hospital, and all the tests they ran came back completely normal.
“Levels were good, vitals with good, no issues anywhere and I’m super thankful for that. I passed out on a Thursday and went right back to work on Monday, and I’ve felt great ever since. I’m in great spirits and thankful I was able to get back to doing what I love the most,” he said. “I actually got the chance on Thursday to see Leslie before the Notre Dame girls’ victory over Fisher Catholic, talk to her, give her a hug and say thank you for saving my life. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.”
Brock said he received great care from the trainers, EMTS and doctors who cared for him.
“I’ve had a ton of people reaching out to check on me every day since, which was really overwhelming but super humbling as well to feel that much love from everyone. I’m forever grateful,” he said.
At SOMC, we are grateful to have team members like Leslie, Amber, and the rest of the athletic training team, who are trained and ready to jump in when needed, even to save a life.