OREM, Utah (ABC 4 News) – An Orem High School football player is recovering after collapsing during practice Thursday.
Ben Smith, 16, is currently in a medically induced-coma at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
His brother was practicing with Ben when he went into cardiac arrest. “He just collapsed on the ground and turned him over and he was turning purple in the face,” said Jeremiah Smith, 17, one of Ben's seven brothers. “I knew he was going to make it, he's my brother, he's probably the toughest brother we have I just didn't like seeing him like that just the life leaving his eyes.”
Immediately his coach started CPR until paramedics came and took Ben to the hospital where doctors discovered he had a heart condition, Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, that led to the collapse.
His doctor tells ABC4, without the quick-thinking actions of his coach, Ben likely would have died on the field. “Without early CPR and early intervention most patients don't make it out of cardiac arrest,” said Dr. David Wang, Ben's heart rhythm doctor at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. “He would have had a terrible outcome.”
Dr. Wang expects to wake Ben from his coma Saturday, but said it's too soon to tell what kind of recovery he will make.
Meanwhile, Ben's classmates showed their support by dressing up Friday and signing posters and delivering them to Ben's hospital room.