Rohnert Park Cal Ripken league coaches, parents attend CPR clinic

April 23, 2013 4:52:08 PM PDT
Cal Ripken league baseball coaches got a lifesaving lesson in Rohnert Park Sunday. They attended a CPR clinic just one week after an 8-year-old boy had to be resuscitated after his heart stopped when he was hit in the chest by a ball.

Some of the coaches we spoke with at Benicia Park say baseball becomes their life from March to June and that today they actually learned how to save a life.

These people are here because a child's heart stopped. The CPR class and equipment was donated by SOS CPR, a local company to the Cal Ripken Baseball Little League.

The more than 50 students at Benecia Park in Rohnert Park were all Cal Ripken Little League Baseball coaches and managers. They know an 8-year-old boy would have died last week if not for CPR and a defibrillator.

"It provides a sense of security not only for the players, but for the coaches and then the parents that visit the field every day," said Aaron Johson, Director of Operations for Cal Ripken.

It's all because of Matthew Henry, who was released from Children's Hospital Oakland on Tuesday. He received a hero's welcome this past Saturday.

Video shot by Coach Aaron Johnson shows the 8-year-old arriving to a ball field in a fire truck to cheers and applause of other players and their parents. He then walked along a line of fellow players, giving high fives to his friends and team members along the way.

It was April 13 when Henry was at bat. 14-year-old Trenton Stanell was the home plate umpire, "I was right behind the plate and this kid got hit in the heart with the ball," he said. Stanell says Henry started towards first base, but never made it, "He fell down and a bunch of people crowded him and he wasn't really breathing that much."

Henry's heart had stopped from the impact.

In a photo you can see two paramedics who were in the stands giving CPR to Henry. An ambulance soon arrived and a defibrillator was used to restart the boy's heart so he could be taken to a local hospital.

Coach Keirnan Keaney also has three boys who play baseball. He says the incident is still fresh for these coaches and parents.

"It's still stopping hearts, everybody is still worried about it happening," Keaney said. "That's why all these people are here."

A heart guard t-shirt was being sold at Benicia Park for about $25. It has a plate covering the area of the heart, just in case.

We're also told that from now on there will be a defibrillator at every park in which Rohnert Park Cal Ripken players will play.


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