Spectators save New Hampshire prep basketball player’s life after in-game heart attack

Prep Rally
Chris Roberge, 15, survived a heart attack during a basketball game thanks to the fast action of spectators -- WBZ-TV
Chris Roberge, 15, survived a heart attack during a basketball game thanks to the fast action of spectators -- WBZ-TV

When he freshened up on his CPR during a course this past summer, little did Hopkinton (N.H.) High athletic director Dan Meserve know how much and how soon the instructor's strange advice to sing The Bee Gees in rhythm with his chest compressions would help.

"I'm actually singing out loud, 'Stayin' Alive,'" Meserve told New Hampshire's Union Leader after he and a number of volunteers helped save the life of a Lebanon (N.H.) High sophomore basketball player who nearly died during a game over the weekend.

After scoring four early points in a junior varsity game at Hopkinton, Lebanon's Chris Roberge, 15, returned to the bench in the second quarter and passed out on a teammate, according to WBZ-TV in Boston. Roberge had reportedly suffered a heart attack.

As Meserve rushed to conduct CPR on the bench, Roberge reportedly had no pulse and was not breathing. It's a good thing there was a doctor in the house, as a parent who is a surgeon reportedly found the school's emergency defibrillator in the hallway and took over for the Hopkinton AD. "We actually had to shock him twice," Meserve told WBZ-TV.

By the time medics responded to a 911 call, Roberge's heart had begun to beat again. The response was so swift that he reportedly never lost oxygen to his brain. "That's how incredible the first responders were," Roberge's uncle Jim told the Union Leader.

Roberge, who reportedly underwent cardiac surgery at age 3, was slated to have defibrillator implant surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center on Wednesday and could return to school as soon as next week, WBZ-TV reported. His basketball career, however, is likely over, but that's the least of the Roberge family's worries at this point.

“Friday night we weren’t sure what to expect because he was non-responsive to any commands,” the boy's father, John Roberge, told the local CBS affiliate. “To think you’re never going to see your son again, it’s the worst feeling ever.

“They saved my son,” he added. “He died and they brought him back to life.”

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Prep Rally on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at preprallyblog@yahoo.com or follow Prep Rally on Twitter!

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