Prep soccer moms help save ref’s life in game

Prep Rally

Referees, in general, rarely get noticed when they're on the field -- except, of course, when they make a controversial call -- but during a recent soccer game at Houma (La.) Vandebilt Catholic School, that all changed after soccer referee Tommy Manor took center stage for the worst possible reason.

Vanderbilt Catholic and Jesuit High soccer teams — Jesuit High Soccer Association
Vanderbilt Catholic and Jesuit High soccer teams — Jesuit High Soccer Association

As The Courier reported, Manor, who'd been a referee in the local area for the last 35 years, was going through the motions when he suddenly collapsed about midway through the game.

Players from both teams ran to Manor's aid. Unsure of what to do next, three quick-thinking soccer moms came to the referee's rescue. Two of the moms, Daria Hebert and Rhonda Zeringue, immediately sprung into action when they realized there was something seriously wrong with Manor and started performing CPR while a third mother, Sandee Ellender, also assisted. That procedure continued until the firefighters arrived on the scene.

Even with the constant CPR, firefighters still had to use an automatic electronic defibrillator to bring Manor's heart back to life.

Rhonda Zeringue — Facebook
Rhonda Zeringue — Facebook

"I don't remember going to the game. I woke up, and I was in the ICU saying, 'What am I doing here?' " Manor told the The Courier.

Thankfully, the quick thinking of Hebert, a registered nurse, and Zeringue, the director of nursing at St. James Parish Hospital (who is on the right in the picture at right), coupled with incredible work by the local fire department allowed Manor to see another day.

Tommy's wife said his collapse was due to an irregular heartbeat stemming from a blockage. A stent was put into his artery to keep it open so blood can flow through it, Marilyn said. Manor said the last thing he remembers before regaining consciousness Thursday is a Terrebonne High soccer practice.

Based on the blockage in Manor's heart, it honestly seems like a blessing that it happened on the field with a registered nurse in the stands.

One would think this kind of scare would force a referee to scale back on his schedule in the future. But that doesn't seem to be the case with Manor. Hard as it is to believe, he said he plans to be back on the field in the next couple of weeks.

"I'll be reffing in the next two weeks. I'll take a week off, and I'll be good to go. This is not going to hold me back," Manor told The Courier. "I just enjoy the game."

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