8th grader goes into cardiac arrest at game — then trainer rushes in, SC school says

An eighth grader went into cardiac arrest at a basketball game — then a trainer rushed in to help, a South Carolina school said.

The trainer, Chris Young, spent about 10 minutes performing CPR on middle school student Kamari Williams as the two waited for first responders, according to Southside Christian School.

“Kamari spent the night in the hospital and is receiving treatment,” the Greenville-area school wrote Feb. 1 in a Facebook post. “We are praising God for his life and the staff involved in the emergency.”

Kamari was playing basketball on Jan. 31 when he bumped into another player and then suffered cardiac arrest and a seizure, WHNS and WYFF reported. LaTonya Perry, the boy’s mother, told WYFF the medical incident reminded her of the situation involving Damar Hamlin, a Buffalo Bills player who was put on oxygen after he went into cardiac arrest during a football game.

“By them working so fast, my son didn’t have any of that,” Perry told the TV station. “He wasn’t on any oxygen. He wasn’t on any breathing machine, his vitals are good.”

Cardiac arrest, which “occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops pumping,” can be deadly if a person doesn’t immediately receive medical help, experts say. A common cause is arrhythmia, also called irregular heartbeat, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Officials said Kamari went into cardiac arrest during a junior varsity game at Brashier Middle College in Simpsonville, roughly 15 miles southeast of downtown Greenville. He attends nearby Southside Christian School, which offers pre-K to 12th grade classes.

The school didn’t immediately share additional information with McClatchy News on Feb. 2.

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