CPR, defibrillator save man's life after he collapses playing rec basketball | CPR


Kevin Marcus Miller (left) with his brother, Cameron Miller. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Marcus Miller)


Kevin Marcus Miller joined a rec basketball league in Seattle to get more exercise, meet new people and balance out a life that had become too dominated by work.


Minutes into his second game, the 25-year-old was dribbling up the court when he went down on one knee.


Then he collapsed, unconscious.

Tim Kerns, who runs the adult basketball league, had just walked into the gym when he noticed a commotion around a man sprawled on the court. Kerns thought Miller might have turned an ankle or maybe even had a seizure. When he checked Miller's wrist and neck area for a pulse, there was none.


"We've got to start CPR pronto," Kerns told everyone.


The group's response was textbook perfect: While one man went to call 911, Kerns began chest compressions. As he pushed hard and fast in the center of Miller's chest, someone else helped stabilize Miller's body and another man helped count the compressions by singing the Bee Gees song "Stayin' Alive." The song matches the right tempo for compressions, 100 to 120 beats per minute.


"Once it got to the four- or five-minute mark, I think all of us there were super concerned," Kerns said.


Paramedics arrived about that time. They told Kerns to keep pumping Miller's chest while they set up a defibrillator to try jolting his heart back into rhythm.

The first two shocks didn't work. They tried a third time.


Paramedics then wheeled Miller out to the ambulance.


"I thought he passed away," Kerns said. "But the fireman said, 'No, we got a pulse.'"


At the hospital, doctors put Miller into an induced coma to allow his body to heal from the trauma. Three days later, he awoke, confused about why he was there. He saw a television report about a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and thought he was one of the victims.


"You're good, man," said his brother, who was sitting by the bed. "We'll tell you what happened. Chill out!"