By Neil H. Devlin
Denver Post Staff Writer
Cherry Hills Village – (2/17/2006) Tom Young, the junior varsity boys basketball coach at Bishop Machebeuf, suffered what appeared to be a massive heart attack Thursday while his team was playing at Kent Denver.
He was taken to Swedish Medical Center, where a spokesman said he was in serious condition. Julie Lonborg also said doctors were attempting to confirm the reason for Young’s collapse. Kent Denver varsity coach Todd Schayes visited Young late Thursday and said he was alert.
Young collapsed on the Buffaloes’ sideline with 4:23 remaining in the fourth quarter and his team trailing 40-30. It devastated the players, coaches, fans and officials at Kent Denver’s Black Field House, some of whom immediately rushed to Young’s aid.
A plea for a doctor was answered through happenstance by Jonathan Branch, the father of Bishop Machebeuf varsity player Nick Branch, and a male nurse at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., who recently traveled to Colorado to watch his son compete.
The elder Branch performed CPR and used a portable defibrillator that helped to revive Young. After several anxious moments, local EMTs arrived and took Young by ambulance to Swedish.
Jonathan Branch, who received thanks from several crowd members for his quick action, said Young “probably suffered a heart attack.”
Through Lonborg, Young’s wife, Joanne, said, “I’m terribly grateful for everyone’s help.”
Fans prayed out loud while Young was being treated, and Buffaloes players, many of whom refused to go to the locker room, were cheering for their coach to come out of it.
“I’m extremely proud of the kids and fans who witnessed this and handled it,” Kent Denver athletic director Scott Yates said.
The rest of the junior varsity game was canceled. A decision on the postponed varsity game, which was to be the Class 3A Metropolitan League finale of the 2005-06 season, may be made today, Yates said.