Quick Thinking Gives Winston A Chance

1/21/2010 12:35 PM

Little Rock - Tuesday night at Parkview's Charles Ripley Arena, the Patriots were in a battle with the Searcy Lions in a 6A East Conference game.  What happened during the game was far too familiar.

In the second quarter Sophomore Chris Winston suddenly collapsed on the Patriot bench.  He had played during the first quarter and had been substituted by Coach Al Flanigan who said he was having a good game.  Quick action by those in the arena might have saved Winston's life. 

A little over two years ago Antony Hobbs collapsed during a game and was pronunced dead about an hour later at Baptist Hospital.  It was almost the same spot where Hobbs collapsed that Winston fell to the floor.  What happened after the death of Hobbs might have saved the life of Winston, "The sad thing is a kid had to lose his life to [make] having [an] AED (Automated External Defibrillator) [to] make the difference," said Flanigan. 

Flanigan was standing in the lobby of Arkansas Children's Hospital where Winston is still in ICU.  Friday's game with Jonesboro will be played on February the 2nd.  The remainder of the Searcy - Parkview game will be finished but the date is not set yet.  "The game is the furthest thing from my mind right now, his life and his family are the most important now," said Flanigan.

Flanigan was thankful that people were at the game and knew what to do, "Tremendous, they jumped right in, nurses, and the trainers from Searcy."  The trainers and nurses started cardiopulmonary resuscitation until the EMT's arrived. 

Coach Flanigan has received over 200 phone calls from people all over the country trying to cheer him up including one from Fayetteville, "Coach Pel (Arkansas Head Coach, John Pelphrey) called and tried to cheer me up.  I appreciated that," said Flanigan.

If Winston makes it through this difficult ordeal Flanigan sees his role with the team change by saying, "He will be our biggest inspiration, [our] biggest cheerleader.  If he makes it through this, it will be a blessing in itself.  He can have a productive life, stay here, and be fine, then he is blessed and I'm Blessed."

 

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