WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — An 18-year-old high school basketball player is alive tonight after he suffered a heart attack on the court.
It all happened so quickly, and thanks to his friends, he just might join them back on the court this season.
“I’ve never had an injury before. I’ve never really been hurt in the hospital. I’ve never had heart problems,” said basketball player Dejohn Blunt.
Blunt’s dream is to one day play in the NBA.
“I’ve played it all my life … I’ve always been playing it,” Blunt said.
That dream almost came to an end on Oct. 15. That’s the day he suffered a heart attack while at practice at Winton-Salem Christian School
“Echoing in … my eyes. It was getting bad when he was talking to me … getting blurry,” Blunt said.
“D.J. just collapsed on the court. He began to seize. They could not tell if he was breathing or not there. Luckily, there’s two students in there that knew CPR, so they rushed over to him, checked his pulse and everything like that,” Head Coach Jake Honeycutt said.
EMTs rushed him to the hospital where he spent time recovering from an enlarged heart and where doctors eventually had to give him a temporary pacemaker.
“I’m still trying to gather it all myself. I can’t even really believe it,” Blunt said.
He’s alive today thanks to his teammates who didn’t hesitate to jump in and take action.
“D.J. is a kid that’s full of joy, full of life. His teammates love him. The community loves him. So to see it happen to somebody like that … He just transferred into the school,” Honeycutt said.
“I love them all. I love my family. I love my coaches. I thank the two kids that helped me once again, and I thank everybody. All the paramedics who helped me as well,” Blunt said.
He still has his sights set on the NBA despite this setback. Once he gets rid of his temporary pacemaker, he’s ready to hit the court again.
“We’ll see where I’m at eight weeks … I should be able to go back to my normal life,” Blunt said.
WSCS is planning to teach all students and athletes to learn how to do CPR this semester.