On Field Player’s Heart Stops; RN In Stands Helps Save His Life High School Heart Attack

PORTLAND, Ore. — A high-school football player in Portland, Ore., had a heart attack during a game Friday and was brought back to life by a cardiac nurse who just happened to be in the stands. “I love the game with all my heart. My favorite thing do do since I was little,” Hayward Demison, Jr. said. That love for football helped Central Catholic tailback Hayward Demison earn quite a name for himself: No. 21, the junior with the fast feet.

The kid who died and came back to life on the football field. Central Catholic Head Coach Steve Pyne said “I’m Just happy that he’s with us still, humbled by the whole thing.” It was Friday night and down to the wire against Canby. The quarterback passed the ball to Demison who ran it in for a touchdown and the win. Hayward said, “It was very intense. People went crazy. They were like, ‘Oh, he’s going … he’s going … he’s gone.” Demison’s heart was racing! But his pulse never subsided. In fact it kept getting faster and faster. Hayward said, “I was like, ‘Coach, I can’t breath,’ and I asked him to get my inhaler.” “He had been diagnosed with athletes asthma a couple years ago so we thought maybe he was having an episode,” said Coach Pyne. But Demison’s inhaler just made things worse. He collapsed into his coach’s arms.

Registered nurse Lisa Lyver just happened to be in the stands. “It sure didn’t look like asthma to me, being as unresponsive as he was,” she said. Seconds later she was by Demison’s side. “He was not breathing. He didn’t have a pulse, pupils weren’t reacting to anything. Everyone was shouting at him. At that point, I started doing chest compressions on him,” Lyver said. Demison’s heart stopped for two minutes. Lyver said he needed a defibrillator, but she prayed for a miracle and then it happened. “You could actually feel his heart start beating right under my hands. It’s amazing. It’s amazing to see somebody come back to life,” she said. “I thank God for that, and I thank Lisa Lyver for saving me,” Hayward said. So does his family. “It was just really hard to see your son go through that. It was just unexplainable,” Hayward’s father said.

Hayward’s father couldn’t lose his son. And Misha could never lose her twin brother. “That day was just emotional for me cause she really loves me, and I love her, too,” Hayward said. A love that far surpasses football. Hayward is, of course, out for the season and will have heart surgery in a couple weeks. Doctors say if all goes well, he should be able to play football next school year.