GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — A Gatlinburg-Pittman High School girls basketball player is recovering after collapsing due to a “cardiac incident” while coming off the court during a game in Gatlinburg on Monday.
Kendl Reagan said she doesn’t remember much about what happened during the game against Union County on Monday night in Gatlinburg.
“I couldn’t really form any words. I was kind of ‘what was going on?’ but no words were coming out of my mouth,” Kendl told WATE 6 on Thursday.
As the incident unfolded, everyone around Kendl quickly jumped into action.
“We kind of could see that something wasn’t right,” said Covenant Health Athletic Trainer Colton Jenkins. “The nurse kind of came over to assist with us as well as the athletic trainer from the other team and then from there we could see that something was seriously wrong, we kind of escalated things from there, activated EMS and got the AED.”
Kendl’s mother, Betsy Reagan, was in the crowd and saw her daughter collapse.
“Freaky… terrifying,” she said. “Thankfully a friend of mine was over there, actually one of the ballplayers, the daughter of the doctor. She had a hold of me. Without her I probably would have hit the ground. My feet were coming out from under me.”
Kendl’s mother rushed to her side to if she could help. That was about the time Jenkins pulled out the AED and began CPR on Kendl.
“When the EMT saw me looking around starting to freak out a little bit, he told me, ‘You’re going to be okay. We are taking you to Lifestar and then you’ll be at the hospital,'” Kendl said.
Once Kendl was stabilized and had a pulse, she was taken by ambulance to Pigeon Forge, and then by helicopter to Children’s Hospital in Knoxville.
Kendl and her mom said they were thankful that Colton was there to help, and believe he saved Kendl’s life.
“When I got back to school yesterday to see my team, he hugged me and started to cry a bit,” Kendl said. “Just to know that I have someone like him in my corner, someone who has always had my back, even when I am healthy and doing well. He has always been there and just to know that he was right there when it happened was amazing.”
“Just able to hug her and hug her mom after what happened was and able to know that she was okay was something that I can’t even put into words,” Jenkins said.
After bed rest and undergoing a stress test, she was cleared by a cardiologist.
If all goes well she will be looking forward to participating in Senior Night festivities with her team.