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OP wrestler revived after heart stops

Osbourn Park wrestler Nick Cooper was revived on Saturday after his heart reportedly stopped during a match. *UPDATED Feb. 3, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.*

OP wrestler revived after heart stops

Times Photo/Joey LoMonaco Osbourn Park wrestler Alex Gowers reacts while his best friend and teammate Nick Cooper was receiving medical aid. Cooper's heart stopped during his 182-pound final during Saturday's Cardinal District wrestling tournament at Forest Park. He was taken to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and his condition at the time is unknown.
*UPDATED Feb. 3, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.*


Lawrence Hunt probably had the closest view but what he saw wasn't a heck of a lot clearer than anybody else when Osbourn Park's Nick Cooper collapsed and became unresponsive during the Cardinal District wrestling tournament on Saturday at Forest Park High School.

"He just fell down and started breathing really fast," said Hunt, a Hylton junior who stood just a few feet away Cooper when the OP senior fell between the second and third periods of the 182-pound championship. "He was, like, hyperventilating. That's all I saw."

Osbourn Park head coach Michael Spudic confirmed Sunday morning that medics transported Cooper to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, formerly known as Potomac Hospital, where he remained Sunday.

"He [Cooper] is stable and awaiting tests. I honestly don't know what I can share, given protection laws," Spudic wrote in a text message at 10:55 AM on Feb. 3.

After Cooper fell during the match, Hunt stepped back to his corner and watched along with everybody else.

The on-site training staff responded quickly, and someone retrieved an A.E.D. from inside the school. A quick assessment comprised of verbal calls and slaps to the face showed Cooper to be non-responsive; they flipped him onto his back and began administering care. One trainer declared that Cooper had "no pulse."

Osbourn Park team captain Alex Gowers, who described his relationship with Cooper as a best-friendship spanning "since Kindergarten, so a solid thirteen years," watched too, which took a toll on him.

"[It was] definitely the time where I felt most inadequate or incapable, helpless of doing anything for someone I care about so much," said Gowers, who appeared visibly inconsolable while Cooper received medical aid. "I just didn't know what to do."

The senior Gowers dropped to his knees at one point and raised his eyes to the ceiling with arms outstretched in what looked like a desperate prayer.

A scattershot of emotional outpourings like that of Gowers pierced the dead air in the gallery every few moments. The other sounds in the gymnasium remained mostly constant: the terse, functional jargon of the medical staff providing aid using just enough words to communicate amongst themselves, and the defibrillators' poly-toned female voice issuing commands like "continue care," and "stop motion if motion is detected."

After the first few minutes, other wrestlers along the mats discussed rumors that maybe Cooper had a seizure and even whispered that Cooper turned 18 that day.

While Cooper received initial aid from the training staff, bystanders and Prince William County Police in the gym called for an ambulance.

Shortly before paramedics arrived, a round of applause rang out, and it appeared the chest compressions and other life-saving implements achieved a desired result. But the cheers died down, as it became clear that Cooper wasn't alert, and wouldn't be helped to his feet and walk it off.

Forest Park head coach Seth Cameron, whose team won the district title over second-place OP in a subplot of the evening, said the scene was like something someone would hear about happening to football players or in other states, but never so close to home.

“In all of my years of wrestling I've never gone through the emotion of seeing that happen," said Cameron, who has coached the Bruins since 2005. "I've never witnessed a situation like that where you thought a kid’s life was over. It's pretty scary."

As the paramedics lifted Cooper to a stretcher and began to wheel him out, he appeared to make inarticulate noises, suggesting he was somewhat alert but disoriented.

"It was bittersweet because he was breathing and making noise," said Gowers, who believed that Cooper reacted in confusion to being strapped in a gurney. "At the same time it was terrifying."

-----

*ORIGINAL STORY - Feb. 2, 2013*

Osbourn Park wrestler Nick Cooper was revived on Saturday after his heart reportedly stopped during a match.

Between the second and third period of his 182-pound match with Hylton's Lawrence Hunt, Cooper collapsed to his knees.

He appeared to be hyperventilating and at some point, the training staff determined his heart stopped.

They flipped him on his back, brought out an AED and used that on him and did chest compressions.

They called an ambulance, which arrived in about 7 minutes. At some point, they got some kind of heart rhythm.

As the paramedics took him out on the stretcher, he let out an inarticulate cry and seemed to be semi-alert and in shock
He was taken to Sentara Potomac Hospital.

After a 15 minute break, officials called for a moment of silence with a Christian prayer and then they finished the meet.
Cooper's condition is unknown.
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