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Columbus basketball coaches credited with saving high school student’s life after cardiac arrest

Courage on the Court: A High School Hoops Hero’s Harrowing Comeback

Amid the echoes of bouncing basketballs and squeaking sneakers, a Horizon Science Academy senior’s life hung in the balance during a routine practice session. This is the story of Sam Lamboi, whose brush with death on the hardwood floor led to a remarkable journey of resilience, community support, and a testament to the importance of emergency preparedness in sports.

Discover the riveting tale of survival, heroism, and the unyielding spirit of a young athlete.

Terrifying Turn of Events During Practice

It was a typical October day when the unexpected struck: Sam Lamboi, a promising athlete, suddenly collapsed during basketball practice. The silence that followed was soon pierced by the urgent calls for help as he lay motionless, a victim of a silent cardiac condition that chose that moment to reveal itself.

His teammates stood frozen, witnessing a scene that would forever be etched in their memories. The gravity of the situation was palpable, and the race against time began.

Coaches’ Quick Response to Sudden Crisis

Robert Tate and Bradley Palmer, the coaches overseeing the practice, leapt into action with a sense of urgency that only true guardians possess. Their swift intervention, guided by the calm voice of a 911 dispatcher, was nothing short of life-saving. Tate’s hands, firm yet precise, administered CPR, while Palmer prepared the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) – a beacon of hope in a dire situation.

Reflecting on that day, the coaches shared a sentiment akin to paternal instinct, a protective drive that fueled their decisive response. Their bond with the team transcended the court, and in that critical moment, they were more than coaches; they were lifesavers.

Community Rallies Behind Student Athlete

The Horizon Science Academy community, a tight-knit family bound by more than just academic pursuits, rallied around their fallen comrade. Sam’s jersey number, 11, became a symbol of unity and strength as classmates donned t-shirts emblazoned with the number to support his recovery.

As Sam fought his battle in the hospital, his coaches and teammates became his pillars, offering more than just visits – they brought laughter, companionship, and the comfort of familiar faces.

The Road to Recovery and Return to the Game

Sam’s determination to return to the court was as fierce as his love for the game. His presence at practices, though not as a player, was a source of inspiration. He assumed the role of an honorary coach, imparting wisdom and encouragement to his peers, especially those who seldom felt the spotlight.

With medical clearance finally in hand, Sam’s re-entry into the game was met with a chorus of cheers. His limited minutes on the court were a triumph, a testament to his unwavering spirit and the joy of reclaiming a piece of his identity.

The Importance of CPR and AED Training

The ordeal underscored a crucial message: the importance of being prepared for emergencies. Tate and Palmer, first-time responders, credited their life-saving actions to the training they had received. They now stand as advocates for CPR and AED education, urging others to equip themselves with these vital skills.

The American Red Cross continues to offer training that can turn bystanders into heroes. For those interested in learning these life-saving techniques, resources are readily available both in-person and online.