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NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – A Fletcher High School lacrosse player remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon, a day several heroes emerged from the sidelines to help him during some scary moments on the field.
Wednesday’s game between Fletcher and the Bolles School changed in an instant when goalie James Hendrick stopped an attempted goal.
Witnesses said Hendrick collapsed on the field after being hit by a ball. According to fire and rescue, the teenager went into cardiac arrest from the blow to his chest.
He stopped the shot. It hit him in the chest, and initially I thought it knocked the wind out of him,” said Athletic Director Joe Reynolds.
Eva McAllister, an athletic director for the team, was among those who saw what happened and rushed on the field to help the player.
“I looked back and the goalie was on the ground. At that point we go out and check on him. I thought it was maybe his knee and the position he was in, but when I got out there realized very quickly it was much more than that,” McAllister said. “We realized he wasn’t breathing very well, and then he quit breathing. We went and got the defibrillator we have the school. At that time we began doing CPR.”
“The coach got to him pretty fast, but he did eventually go into cardiac arrest,” Reynolds said.
Hendrick was flown by air ambulance to Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center. Channel 4 was told that without the help of some fans who were in the stands, Hendrick might not have made it to the hospital.
“We were definitely very lucky. It was the right place and the right time,” McAllister said.
“I’ll tell you what, they’re the heroes, and I really believe they saved James’ live,” Reynolds said.
Although Hendrick won’t be on the lacrosse field any time soon, Reynolds said he believes the injured goalie will be OK.
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