8-year-old baseball player nearly dies after being hit in the chest by ball

An 8-year-old Duncanville boy nearly died after he was hit by a baseball at a tournament.

Kekoa Ramirez’s heart stopped after he was hit in the chest by a baseball. Thanks to a fast-acting paramedic, the boy is alive. He’s still a little bit shaken up but is starting to feel like his old self once again.

“I’m getting there,” Kekoa told FOX 4.

Thursday night, he was playing left-center field in a Cedar Hill baseball game when a ball hit him in the chest. Kekoa was able to throw the ball back in before he collapsed. An off-duty Dallas paramedic directed him to Tommy Perez, who saved his life.  

Perez, the Cedar Hill EMT on site at the baseball diamond, said that when Kekoa got to him, he didn’t have a pulse and wasn’t breathing. Perez used a defibrillator to restart his heart, saving the boy’s life.

“If they had not been there to put a defibrillator on him he would not be with us today,” Dr. Matthew Lemlar with Children's Health said. He is the Associate Clinical Director of UT Southwestern’s Division of Cardiology.

“Praise God for men and women like Tommy Perez," Kekoa's father said. "They did their jobs.”

As for Kekoa, he’s holding up all right. His family says he always had a big heart, but now they know it’s a tough one too.

“I don’t quit,” he said.