December 03, 2010
La Verne Lutheran (Calif.) School basketball star Xavier Jones has two men to thank for still being alive: His coach and Steve Jobs.
According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, an iPhone -- a creation of Jobs' Apple Corporation -- helped teach La Verne basketball coach Eric Cooper how to perform CPR when he downloaded a life saving app called "Phone Aid" one night last week.
The very next day, Cooper had to put the skill to the test when Jones collapsed during a team practice. Cooper was able to keep his star pupil alive until paramedics arrived, at which point Jones had begun breathing again.
"When it happened, that was too much of a coincidence for me," Cooper told the Tribune.
It may have seemed like a huge coincidence, but given the holiday season, Cooper's timely intervention seemed almost a guided act of faith. Jones, who was set to play basketball at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point next year, has since been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart wall that previously killed Loyola Marymount basketball player Hank Gathers during the 1990 college basketball season.
[Related: Soccer club president saves player's life]
"I'm just thankful and happy to be here," Jones told the Los Angeles Times. "Things could have been a lot worse.
"I'm just happy to be alive."
While Jones hasn't decided on his next course of action -- one group of doctors has already recommended Jones have a defibrillating device implanted that would re-start his heart if it stopped again -- he and his parents said they were sure he would find a way to success.
More importantly, they were just thankful that his coach was able to think so quickly on his feet, and that he had such a timely interest in boning up on his lifesaving skills.
"I can't thank him enough for being there for my son," Xavier Jones' mother, Linda Jones, told the Los Angeles Times.
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