Jesuit soccer player saved by athletic trainer after collapsing during game

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A high school soccer player is alive thanks to the quick action of a high school athletic trainer.

Jesuit College Prep student Christian Lerma collapsed last Friday night during a soccer game against J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson. A trainer from the opposing team did CPR and used a defibrillator on Christian, ultimately saving his life.

J.J. Pearce athletic trainer Tara Grubbs recalls a close Friday night game against soccer rival Jesuit Prep. During the game. Christian suddenly went down and was unresponsive with labored breathing, signaling to Grubbs that it was cardiac arrest.

“I didn't even have time to check his pulse or anything,” she said. “I just instinctively yelled, ‘Someone get me the AED.’”

J.J. Pearce senior Kent Malloy was Christian's competitor that day, but the two have played on the same club soccer team for years.

“He wasn't able to speak, and then his eyes rolled to the back of his head,” Kent said. “It was one of the scariest things I've ever experienced.”

Grubbs is a mother of three who just returned from maternity leave three weeks ago. She put the defibrillator pads on Christian's chest. After getting shocked and receiving CPR, Christian came to and was taken way in an ambulance.

“You are like, ‘Ok, you did your part. He's in their hands now,’” Grubbs said. “And it was crazy. Instant tears.”

Kent visited Christian at the hospital over the weekend, where he ribbed his Jesuit teammates for not continuing the game.

“He was like, ‘Come on, y'all guys could have tied up the game. There was a minute left,’” recalled Kent. “And I was just laughing.”

Christian’s mom says Grubbs is her angel for saving her son’s life.

Christian remains in ICU at Medical City Dallas. He's going to have a pacemaker put in on Tuesday.

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