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Coaches save life of collapsed St. Ed wrestler

Two coaches at the St. Edward High School wrestling program -- ranked No. 5 in the nation by InterMat -- are credited with saving the life a 15-year-old wrestler during practice last week at the Lakewood, Ohio school, WJW-TV, the Fox affiliate in Cleveland reported Monday.

St. Ed assistant wrestling coach Mark Jayne told WJW, "The student-athlete was gasping, could not breathe, there was like long gaps in between, so I know that does not count as breathing and he wasn't responding."

Jayne, a three-time Ohio state champ for St. Ed who now teaches CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) in his health class at his high school alma mater, began using an AED (automatic external defibrillator) that another coach had brought to where the wrestler had collapsed, and applied the pads as directed to revive the student-athlete.

Jayne, who is a certified instructor in using CPR, told WJW that AED machines automatically guide the user step-by-step through the process of reviving a patient.

"You've got to look at the picture. It tells you exactly where to put it, so even though your adrenaline is running high, you know where to go," said Jayne.

Thanks to the quick response of Coach Jayne and his colleagues -- as well as having easy access to the AEDs located throughout the St. Ed campus -- the teenager was breathing when paramedics arrived.

The unidentified wrestler was taken to a nearby hospital where he was discovered to have a previously undiagnosed heart condition. He had a pacemaker implanted to regulate his heartbeat, and is now recovering at home.

Jayne, who went on to wrestle at the University of Illinois before returning to teach and coach at St. Ed, emphasized the need for individuals to be trained in CPR and the use of lifesaving equipment such as AEDs.

"It saved his life so knowing how to do this," said Jayne. "I mean you just don't know, it could be in the practice room, out in public, in school anywhere; you just don't know so it's always good to be ready, be trained."

St Edward High School is an all-male, private Catholic high school located in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood. The school -- home to the nationally-ranked Eagles wrestling program -- has a total enrollment of approximately 950 students.

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