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Hayward Demison

Friday night’s game between Oregon’s Central Catholic High School and Canby High was a real heart-stopper, in more ways than one.

Running back Hayward Demison made an electrifying 45-yard dash to the endzone to give Central Catholic a 28-24 victory. Then something went wrong.

Demison was having trouble breathing so he asked for his inhaler, which made things even worse.  The junior leaned against an assistant coach and collapsed.

His heart stopped beating for two full minutes.

Luckily, the wife of Central Catholic’s statistician, Linda Lyver, who happens to be a cardiac nurse, was at the game and immediately headed down to the sidelines.  She administered CPR on Hayward Demison and brought him back to life.

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“I just fell on the ground,” Demison says of the ordeal. “I don’t remember anything else except waking up a few minutes later, and people are standing over me, and I’m in shock. I’m trying to get up, and everybody’s saying, ‘Stay there. Calm down.’ I looked to my left and saw everybody, and they were crying.”

Demison is recovering now, after testing revealed that he suffers from a heart defect that limits the amount of blood from his left coronary artery. He’ll have surgery within the next month to correct it and should be able to make a full recovery for his senior season.

“I’m just happy to be alive,” Demison told The Oregonian. “The person that gave me CPR saved my life. I’m very thankful. I’m truly blessed. It was a close call.

“Hopefully I’ll be back, after everything is taken care of.”

Catch more of this amazing story in the video below.

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